Cele relieved of his duties
CONTROVERSIAL police commissioner Bheki Cele has been fired.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj could only say: "The president has not yet made any communication, when he makes the decision, it will be communicated."
But those close to Cele and senior police officers confirmed that the Presidency has informed Cele about the decision.
The two names that have emerged - in the big debate whether or not Zuma will make a political appointment - to replace Cele are current Labour Department Director-General Nathi Nhleko and Acting Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
Cele's removal comes two weeks after a board of inquiry, headed by Judge Jake Moloi, had handed its findings to Zuma recommending that Cele be fired.
It also recommended that Zuma should consider taking its findings to the police for further investigations, which may lead to Cele being charged.
Cele has dismissed the report and urged Zuma to disregard the findings into his fitness to hold office, arguing that the evidence of three witnesses - Thulani Ngwenya, Lieutenant-General Audrey Mofomme and Paul Schutte - was ignored.
He argues that the board made factual errors and incorrect conclusions.
He also argued that the board's recommended sanction - that he was unfit to hold office and that he be fired - was inappropriate because the board had not dealt with statutory functions and duties of the national commissioner.
The inquiry was instituted by Zuma last year after Cele signed two lease agreements, worth R1.7-billion, for buildings in Pretoria and Durban - owned by property mogul Roux Shabangu.
"The evidence established that the national commissioner, as the accounting officer of the SAPS, grossly misconducted himself with regard to the procurement of the Sanlam Middestad and the Transnet buildings in Pretoria and Durban respectively," the report states.
"The evidence demonstrated that the national commissioner favoured the buildings owned by Shabangu and that he, together with Shabangu, pushed for the entire buildings in Pretoria and Durban to be leased by the SAPS." - Additional reporting by Mduduzi Dlamini