POLITICAL NEWS - Ever since news broke that Police Minister General Bheki Cele would be visiting former President Jacob Zuma at his Nkandla homestead on Thursday, questions have been posed about the appropriateness of the visit, in what capacity Cele would be visiting and what would be discussed.
Following the meeting, Cele initially refused to disclose details of their discussion pending a debriefing with top ANC leadership.
However, on Friday, the minister acquiesced slightly when asked about the meeting once again during a Q&A session after his presentation on the quarterly crime statistics for the third quarter of the 2020-2021 financial year.
“Nkandla, I was at Nkandla yesterday [Thursday]. Surely, I did not drink the tea. I did drink water…” joked Cele.
The minister went on to explain that he spoke to the “president and the DSG” about his visit. Though he did not clarify which president and DSG, he was presumably referring to Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as ANC president and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte based on a statement released by Cele on Thursday.
“I’m asked if did I manage to split myself, this half is an ANC NEC and this half is a minister? No… I will talk about things as they cross to government and as they cross to ANC.”
“Here, we will not put a comma and full stop on that particular matter. We spoke about some several things, including all other things that are prevailing but more so for me to be able to report back…”
He also addressed a question by the DA’s Natasha Mazzone about why he saw it fit to visit a person that’s about to be arrested and used a police convoy to transport him there.
“I don’t know if he has been arrested and maybe she knows what I do not know. So far, I did not visit a person that has been arrested for not appearing in the commission.”
He further stated that there were many other instances that were not as high profile as the Zuma instance, in which they are able to make a visit to deescalate a situation before it ends in an arrest.
“Several things were spoken and as I’ve said, it was a broader kind of discussion with the aim if we can find a solution maybe before those other times where you find yourself crossing the line, you find yourself having a problem that you could have managed to stop.”
Cele concluded by joking that he took his official transport because he could not exactly take an Uber to Nkandla.