Police Minister Bheki Cele File picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Police Minister Bheki Cele File picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Cele Tapes Saga continues

By Thabo Makwakwa, Gcwalisile Khanyile Time of article published Jul 2, 2021

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Further information in what is being dubbed the Cele Tapes Saga has revealed that convicted drug dealer and businessman Timmy Marimuthu advised Police Minister Bheki Cele to sideline certain top cops, investigate tenders and pull resources from the Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (NDZ) campaign, and redirect them to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign.

These recordings were part of the taped conversations between Cele and former policeman Marimuthu.

Marimuthu informed Cele which top police bosses to sideline within the Crime Intelligence Unit, citing their allegiance to a certain faction that supported Dlamini Zuma.

"The reason (one police major-general) must not know what takes place, is because he went to Cape Town when Jacob Zuma was still president and he pledged that no matter what it cost, he would put the money to fight for Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to come (to win)."

He continued: “So, whatever takes place in the intelligence meetings about what to strategise, what to do, he goes, he phones he goes and tells (ANC Secretary-General Ace) Magashule."


"They go tell others this is what was discussed today, who we must go and see, what we must go and see, where to be careful. So, then Ace tells his people to just hold down because of the police presence or the intelligence presence is quite strong in Moses Mabhida stadium. Don’t do anything there, just stay away. We will get our chance to do what we must."

In the recording, Marimuthu is also heard briefing Cele, pointing a finger at the then Economic Development and Environmental Affairs MEC, and now Premier, Sihle Zikalala, accusing him of instructing a very senior official to give a R2 billion contract to a consulting company "just to sit" and invoiced the department.

KZN businessman and former policeman Panganathan "Timmy" Marimuthu.

"So, for instance, the call centres (the company) appointed two guys and they just sit around and tick, tick, tick, and every month invoices, invoices, invoices," Marimuthu told Cele.

He said that Zikalala had lied that the R2bn was going to be used for elections, but was actually used to fund the Dlamini Zuma faction.

Marimuthu further motivated that the company should be investigated and resources taken away to weaken the Dlamini Zuma campaign and help fund Ramaphosa.

"Now, why are we waiting? The money can be used to fight the good elections so that this country can become what it can with the right president, Cyril Ramaphosa, I think," Marimuthu said.

While briefing Cele on the dynamics of the campaigns he also told Cele that the Dlamini Zuma faction no longer had a plan and had become weak.

Cele asked for clarity: "So, you say the plan they had, they don’t have it now?"

To which Marimuthi responded: "They don’t have it, Gen (General), because it’s been killed."

Marimuthi added: "That money, Sihle said to them that was going to help with the elections, but it’s not helping with the elections, it’s going to go to Zuma in helping with the situation in this thing.

“He promised Jacob Zuma that his wife will win, and she did not. So he is now putting into Zuma. He hired two houses in Zimbali for them. That’s why you will see that when Zuma came to the meetings. He never came to the front, he would sit in the back to see what is the buy-in (mood) of the people.”

Marimuthu warned Cele, informing him that Dlamini Zuma had lots of money for the campaign and suggested that a new party may be formed.

"But Gen, they’ve got so much money to destabilise. They’ve got so much money to form this new party.”

According to Zikalala's spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, the premier was unaware of the allegations, and had nothing to do with contracts.

“The premier is a politician and doesn’t give contracts because he was, and still is, not involved in procurement processes,” said Mabaso.

Dlamini Zuma is now the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. When the Daily News sought comment from her, spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said it was difficult to comment on the matter.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said it would not comment on the matter.

Asked whether the president had previously teamed up with Cele to work on his presidential campaign and whether state resources were used to spy on Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential campaign, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, said the president had no comment.

Magashule distanced himself from the recordings, indicating that he was shocked to learn that there were conversations between Cele and Marimuthu.

“I have no idea what was going on, but I believe that Cele might have been misled by whoever he was speaking to,” said Magashule.

Daily News

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