NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA reports Bheki Cele’s ‘Zuma-tea party’ – Natasha Mazzone

Chief Whip says it is irregular of Minister of Police to visit someone who many believe should be locked up

DA reports Minister Cele’s ‘Zuma-tea party’ to Ethics Committee over clear conflict of interest

19 February 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to clarify in which capacity he met with former President Jacob Zuma at Nkandla.

It is highly irregular and unprecedented for a Police Minister to have ‘tea parties’ with someone who many believe should be locked up in a police holding cell for being in contempt of court.

Minister Cele supposedly met with Zuma in his capacity as an ANC NEC member. However, it is no coincidence that the Minister was sent by the ANC to meet with Zuma given the fact that the matter of the former President’s contempt of the Constitutional Court relates very closely to Cele’s portfolio as Police Minister.

The conflict of interest is undeniable and once again demonstrates the ANC’s disregard for the separation of party and State.

The DA will therefore lay an ethics complaint against Minister Cele as we believe that his meeting with Jacob Zuma is in breach of Section 4 of Parliament’s Code of Conduct for members.

In particular, Clauses 4.1.3 and 4.1.5 which states that members must “act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them” and that they “maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament and thereby engender the respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament as a representative institution.

According to Clause 10.1.1.3, the contravention of Clause 4.1, is a breach of the Code of Conduct and the DA will therefore request that Parliament’s Ethics Committee investigates.

Further, if Cele did not meet with Zuma in his capacity as Police Minister, why did he arrive at Nkandla with a police convoy paid for by the taxpayer?

If public funds were involved in this meeting, the money must be reimbursed and the details of the meeting should be made public.

The continued abuse of public money for the ANC’s internal squabbles must come to an end.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, Chief Whip of the Official Opposition in Parliament, 19 February 2021