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Praise for new top cop as Cele gets the chop

By Hlengiwe Nhlabathi Political Reporter | Jun 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 68 ]

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has relieved suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele of his duties, replacing him with the first woman to hold that position, business executive Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega.

Zuma made the announcement in Pretoria yesterday, after days of uncertainly over Cele's fate.

Cele was suspended in October last year. He is the second police chief to be fired by Zuma. His predecessor, Jackie Selebi, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption in 2010.

Cele is expected to hold a press briefing to respond to his axing, following damning findings by a board of inquiry which was chaired by Judge Jake Moloi, which led to him losing his job.

Zuma said: "General Cele was appointed as national commissioner in August 2009. He was given a clear brief to take the war to the criminals.

"I would like to extend my personal gratitude to General Cele for the unquestionable commitment to his work as national commissioner.

"Leading from the front, he brought much-needed passion, energy, expertise and focus that boosted the morale of the police, leading to improved productivity and a visible reduction in crime levels."

His successor, Phiyega, is a highly regarded professional with a good reputation among her peers.

She is currently the chairwoman of the presidential review committee on state-owned enterprises and a director at Tsa Rona Investment company.

Zuma sang her praises as a capable person to deal with problems within the South African Police Service.

Zuma said he was "disappointed at the spectacle in which police officers jeopardise state security by placing it in the public domain".

He was referring to former intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, who is fighting for his reinstatement in court.

In ensuring a smooth transition, Phiyega would have to work with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to cement loopholes, even in the SAPS' financial systems.

Zuma suspended Cele last year after a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela revealed there was misconduct in the awarding of two leases for police office space.

-nhlabathih@sowetan.co.za

COMMENTS [ 68 ]

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@Pointman - I second that comment......

But my personal view is, this another Zuma appointee who is here to serve the master......Cele was the same, he just took a wrong turn and his relation with The Spear soured as well.....

This lady has never been anywhere near a police job, not even as a clerk in the charge office, so, whatever made her appropriate for this job is beyond me....

I work for a department that if a Civilian is appointed as head, Heads will roll, but the SAPS are worse.....I just hope The Spear doesnt touch my department as well, he is toxic

Jun 13, 2012 1:39 | 0 replies

I think Mkhwanazi should have continued.Period.

Jun 13, 2012 10:6 | 0 replies

oh! she is ugly maan.

Jun 13, 2012 10:0 | 0 replies

@serobapipi and tumzangwana

Eish women with their expensive hair styles, how much is this style of new General : Mangwashi Phiyega?

Jun 13, 2012 9:58 | 0 replies

@serobapipi
Shredder
@serobapipi - ke eng mboko yanong?

fsek wena, o motsokwane o monnyane
=======================================================================
A pots ya potso ke yone e ka ntshang mo.tho madi? Akare ke bone ore "wathinta abafazi wathinta mboko,", yanong fa ke botsa gore mboko ke eng ke bidiwa ka motsokwana o monnyane". Mme ga go tshwane, ka zama zama ka one.

Jun 13, 2012 9:39 | 0 replies

I don't see her fit enough to stay even two years in that position. I don't think she can lead the police in raiding drug dealers flats and hostels. I also don't think that she will have enough time to hold this position.This position must be a full time position, this woman serves on Zuma's review panel and she is a businesswoman.

BHEKI CELE MIGHT HAVE DONE WRONG, BUT I DON"T SEE ANYONE HOLDING THAT POSITION AND BOOSTING MORAL TO THE POLICE AS HE HAS DONE.

Jun 13, 2012 9:39 | 0 replies

The President chose the moral high ground instead of the DA maladministration method.

Cele could have been reinstated if the DA standard of negotiated tendering was chosen.

This leaves Mrs Zille as the only high-level politician found to be involved in maladministration, still in office.

Has President Zuma now inherited the DA title of champion corruption fighter?

Seems like it, doesn't it?

Jun 13, 2012 9:33 | 0 replies

Another political appointment likely to go wrong..how long are we going to keep saying..'Oh lets give him/her a chance' and then 'boom' mess..then the circle starts aging..why can't our President learn from history that only a career policeman/woman is suitable to lead the SAPS..surely there is someone from the Provincial Commissioners who could be promoted to post.

Jun 13, 2012 9:29 | 0 replies

Shredder
@serobapipi - ke eng mboko yanong?


fsek wena, o motsokwane o monnyane

Jun 13, 2012 9:24 | 0 replies

Sometimes there is nothing common about common sense, Zuma has lost it, period. This is a position that needs to be filled with a uniformed member of the SAPS. Her appointment is a no confidence to the current crop of senior officers in the SAPS, if not a slap in the face.

By the way our armed forces have different dynamics than working in a bank. Some of us cannot turn a blind eye if we see that the powers that be are clueless.

Jun 13, 2012 9:19 | 0 replies

Bheki Cele was the best chief policeman in this country, he was tough and crime was far less during his controlling time BUT eishhhh nothing can be done and as it is said that no one is above the law, that's a great example with him. Ndosi became too excited and engaged himself in wrong things and got punished. My question to all South African's is ARE YOU GUYS AWARE THAT MBEKI FIRED ZUMA NOT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BUT BECUASE HE HAD NO CHOICE??? I have no doubt that, this is the question Zuma asked himself before terminating Cele's position. So all those who blamed Mbeki and who are Zuma's followers?? Are they blaming Zuma now???????????????

Jun 13, 2012 9:18 | 0 replies