The North Gauteng High Court has set aside former President Jacob Zuma’s 2012 decision to sack Bheki Cele as police commissioner.
Zuma took the decision following a board inquiry’s findings that Cele had acted “dishonestly” and had not declared a conflict of interest relating to two police lease agreements he had signed.
The leases were signed with business tycoon Roux Shabangu and involved two buildings located in Pretoria and Durban.
Cele, who is now Minister of Police, said he felt vindicated by the court’s decision on Tuesday.
His spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero, told News24 that Cele has always maintained that the board’s findings “were irrational, biased, lacked credence and defied logic.”
The decision to discharge and release him of his duties as the national commissioner of police was also invalid and of no force and effect on the same reasons he advanced against the board findings and recommendations.Reneilwe Serero
The Minister thanked his legal team and South Africans for supporting him during his seven-year struggle to clear his name.
Subsequent to his firing, Cele became one of Zuma’s main opponents, especially in their home province of KwaZulu-Natal.
He played a major role in garnering support for President Cyril Ramaphosa in the run-up to the ANC’s national conference in 2017.
This eventually led to Zuma’s removal as President of the Republic and Cele’s ascension as Minister of Police.