BACKTRACK: Bheki Cele WITHDRAWS plot claim against Malema, Sitole

Police Minister Bheki Cele has made a u-turn by withdrawing his initial allegation that National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole met with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to discuss a plot to have him removed from Cabinet.

When MPs debated the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, 14 February 2022, Cele revealed that Malema and Sitole were colluding against him. It’s no secret that there is no love lost between Cele and Sitole and we doubt the latest revelations will change things either.

Sitole has admitted to having met with Malema, but says this was done at the request of Cele’s own deputy Cassel Mathale. In addition, the police boss says Cele wasn’t even a topic of discussion during their meeting. Sitole claims they only discussed threats that were allegedly being levelled at Malema.

“Mr Malema met with the national commissioner and head of protection and security services, Lt-Gen Sam Shitlabane, in 2020 at the Tshwane training academy. The meeting was solely about the alleged threats against Mr Malema and nothing else. Feedback was provided to the deputy minister,” said police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo.

BHEKI CELE ASKED TO WITHDRAW PLOT ALLEGATION

When MPs met again on Tuesday, 15 February 2022 at the Cape Town City Hall, Bheki Cele was asked by Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to retract his claim against Malema and Sitole.

Tsenoli said such Cele needed to bring a substantive motion before the house, which he hadn’t done.

“Such allegations can only be brought by a way of a substantive motion comprising of a clearly formulated and properly substantiated charge that in the opinion of the presiding officers prima facie warrants consideration by the House and, of course, such a motion would need to be considered in the relevant House, this being a joint sitting. I therefore ask honourable Cele to withdraw his statement about honourable Malema, Such allegations can only be made by way of a substantive motion,”

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli

ALSO READ: Did Cele get it wrong? General Sitole says he met Malema after ‘serious threats’

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