Africa-Press – South-Africa. Cape Town – The DA has called on Minister of Police Bheki Cele to reimburse the state after he seemingly used a police convoy to travel to Nkandla to meet former president Jacob Zuma for a personal engagement.
Cele’s office indicated that he had not met Zuma in his official ministerial capacity, nor had he visited the former president as a member of the ANC, Luthuli House insisted.
However, Cele has defended his use of state vehicles for the visit, saying that even when they were on the party campaign trail, they were allowed to use state vehicles as ministers.
The reason for his visit last Thursday, Cele said, was ’’to raise his concerns and hear the concerns of the former head of state and to avoid a disastrous situation’’, after Zuma had defied a Constitutional Court order to testify at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said in a statement on Monday the ’’South African taxpayer cannot be expected to foot the bill when it comes to the ANC’s non-stop internal melodramas’’.
’’The Minister’s office has recently refuted claims that he had met with the disgraced former President, and known Constitutional delinquent, in his official Ministerial capacity.
’’The ANC has also come out and indicated that he had not gone to Nkandla in his capacity as ANC member. It would therefore be safe to assume that Cele’s meeting with Zuma was in fact a social visit paid for by the taxpayer.
’’Cele must now pay back the money and reimburse the State for this visit ,which was clearly among friends. Even if he had gone in his capacity as ANC NEC member, he would be expected to reimburse the State.
’’The DA is of the belief that since public funds were seemingly involved in this meeting between Zuma and Cele, the money must be reimbursed in full and the details of the meeting should be made public.’’
Cele said after his visit: ’’There are many cases, many cases, where we make the visit, if you can make a contribution to prevent that thing to happen before it happens and becomes a disaster… I would not have then taken an Uber to go and see the former president, so I took the cars that are there and really several things were spoken.’’