On the basis of Commissioner Bheki Cele’s response to the findings of the Public Protector against him, the Democratic Alliance (DA) again calls on President Zuma to dismiss the commissioner. Commissioner Cele is simply not fit to serve as the head of SAPS.
When the Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, first issued her adverse findings against Commissioner Cele on Tuesday, we called for the commissioner to either resign of his own accord or be dismissed by the president. Not only has he refused to resign, he has called into question the impartiality of the Public Protector and given further evidence that he is in fact guilty of maladministration and unlawful behavior.
At a press briefing today, Commissioner Cele first acknowledged his ostensible respect for the Public Protector and then said:
"Her finding that I was involved in improper, unlawful conduct which amounted to maladministration is disputed. I do not see how the public protector made these findings against me on an issue which is not my responsibility."
This means that the commissioner both respects the constitutional mandate of the public protector but can ignore that office’s findings if he does not like them.
And in response to the Public Protector’s findings that he erred as the accounting officer, he said:
"I am entitled to delegate responsibilities, but that does not divest me of ultimate responsibility as the accounting officer of the police."
Precisely. The buck stops with the commissioner and he must bear responsibility for his department, his actions or those he supposedly mandated to act on his behalf. It is the responsibility of being the leader of any organisation, including the SAPS.
Commissioner Cele is too compromised to continue in his position and makes a mockery of our Constitution and the principles of accountability and transparency. The President cannot remain silent on this matter any longer – he should dismiss him.