Cape Town - Former police commissioner Bheki Cele said he was feeling on top of the world after being elected to the ANC 80-member national executive committee (NEC).
Cele said the message was clear – the people had spoken and the ANC had listened.
“Being elected to the NEC tells me that South Africans have confidence in me and that I still have a contribution to make in the ANC. Thank you for that,” he said on Sunday.
Cele said many dark forces had worked day and night to try to ensure he did not make a political comeback.
“These forces tried with all their might to keep me out of the ANC structures. But it did not work. Getting elected to the NEC just shows me how many people believe in me.”
The elected members of the NEC were announced during the closing plenary of the elective conference in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Topping the NEC list was African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba.
Cele did not attend the conference, but watched on television at home with his wife.
“As my name was announced, I could see my wife’s face break into a huge smile. It was just like the day I proposed to her. She was very, very excited. So was I,” said Cele.
“This year has ended on a very high note for me. All the negative talk about me does not matter. I have secured the support of the broader society.”
Cele said he was ready for action in KwaZulu-Natal. On his to-do list for 2013 is helping quell the political violence. He said the recent spate of political violence was cause for concern.
“I want to make a contribution towards peace in this province. This new trend of people killing each other for position and power, nationally, must come to an end.
“All political parties need to work together to ensure peace and stability in communities. We cannot fight this war on a political ticket. We have to stand together to make our voices heard.”
Commenting on President Jacob Zuma’s re-election, Cele said it was the people’s will. “Individual wishes do not count for anything. As NEC members, we follow the leadership.”
But Cele warned he would not be backing off in his fight to clear his name after he was fired by Zuma in June. He was sacked after an inquiry, headed by Judge Jake Moloi, found that his involvement in a R1.6 billion police lease deal was unlawful and amounted to maladministration.
“This is the only unfinished business I have. But I will have my day in court. The truth will emerge and I will be vindicated,” said Cele.
When asked how his family had reacted to his political comeback, Cele said: “Some things are best heard when they are not said. My family have not spoken. But when I look around I see them much more relaxed. They are happy.”
He said he had been discussing the Christmas Day menu with his wife for months, and they finally agreed on a traditional meal – roast turkey with all the trimmings.