Police general Bheki Cele has defiantly insisted on his innocence, as the nation on Thursday waited to hear his fate from President Jacob Zuma.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday night that the suspended national police commissioner had been fired by Zuma, and that Zuma was due to make a formal announcement, but Zuma’s office has declined to confirm this.
Cele’s spokesman, Vuyo Mkhize, said the general was confident that the report of the judicial commission of inquiry into his role in awarding police service tenders – on which Zuma’s decision is based – contained nothing that could dent his reputation.
Cele, who was suspended with full pay in October last year, was investigated by a commission of inquiry headed by Judge Jake Moloi after the public protector found irregularities in the awarding of two tenders for the lease of police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban.
Moloi delivered a damning report to the President on May 20.
Speaking to the Cape Argus just before midday on Thursday, Cele’s spokesman, Vuyo Mkhize, said: “He hasn’t heard anything yet - whether the president will rebuff the report, or accept it.”
But he said the “general” was relaxed.
“Ever since he received the report, what was key for him was his reputation. After studying the report, he knew that there was nothing that could dent his reputation, because if an adverse decision is made, it will be made on the basis of an irrational set of facts.”
He said that Cele had been in a relaxed mood, ever since he was satisfied that nothing was found that made any dent in his reputation.
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj has repeatedly declined to comment on speculation, saying he would make an announcement when he was “ready”.