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Cele to give ‘political guidance’ to experts

Johannesburg - Former police commissioner Bheki Cele will bring political guidance to the agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry, his spokesman Vuyo Mkhize said on Wednesday.

“Cele is not going to the department to be a DG (director general) or to be a bureaucrat, he's going to the department to provide political direction and guidance to the experts who are employed there as bureaucrats,” Mkhize told Sapa.

Bheki Cele is the deputy minister of agriculture. Credit: GCIS

“He's going in there to drive decisions of the ANC and to ensure that the mandate of the department as a whole becomes one of the economic drivers in the country.”

Cele was appointed as deputy agriculture minister on Sunday. He was sworn in at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on Monday.

He takes over the job from Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, who was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in 2009.

Cele made his return to politics, as promised, at the African National Congress's elective conference in Mangaung 2012, when he was elected to the party's national executive committee.

Six months before this, Cele was axed as national police commissioner because of his involvement in two police lease deals signed with businessman Roux Shabangu.

A board of inquiry led by retired judge Jake Moloi was appointed to probe the matter.

At a final news briefing in July 2012, just after Zuma fired him, Cele said he was going to take time off in KwaZulu-Natal to relax and think, but he did not rule out going back into politics.

“I love politics and politics loves me. I would not be surprised if I go back to the active political life,” he said at the time.

Cele said he would never abandon the ANC.

Mkhize on Wednesday said Cele had the necessary political experience, and would drive policy in the agriculture department.

“He... brings decades of experience as a political leader and driver of the policy and visions of the governing party,” he said.

Sapa

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