The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) supported suspended police commissioner General Bheki Cele's crime fighting efforts, a spokesman said on Monday.

“We are saying we supported the incumbent on the issue of fighting crime,” Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi said on the sidelines of a union summit in Boksburg.

Popcru made a submission to the board of inquiry appointed by President Jacob Zuma in November to probe Cele's fitness to remain in office.

The board investigated allegations of misconduct relating to two leases for new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban, which Cele signed.

The inquiry recommended that Cele be fired and a criminal investigation be started into the irregular awarding of the leases worth R1.7 billion.

Theledi said Popcru's submission was in support of Cele's crime fighting efforts, nothing more.

“Our submission about him was on the side of crime fighting. We said we are quite comfortable with him fighting crime.

“He was doing that on behalf of government... we supported government,” he said.

Popcru had a meeting pending with acting police commissioner Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

Theledi would not be drawn on whether Popcru supported Mkhwanazi.

“It's how do we engage on the operations of the SA Police Service,” he said.

Cele has denied any wrongdoing. - Sapa