Zuma appoints Cele as new National Police Commissioner

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has appointed KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Cele as the new National Police Commissioner.

Mr Cele will take over from Jackie Selebi on 2 August.

Mr Selebi, whose contract expires on Friday, was placed on special leave since 2007, pending his court case on alleged corrupt activities and defeating the ends of justice, relating to his friendship with convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.

Mr Cele, a trained teacher, joined the African National Congress underground structures in the 80s.

He was instrumental in founding the National Education Union of SA.

In 1984, security police attempted to arrest Mr Cele. He managed to evade them and flee to Angola where he joined the ANC's military arm Umkhonto we Sizwe.

In 1987, when he tried to return to South Africa, he was arrested and sent to Robben Island where he was incarcerated for three years.

After his release he was appointed to a leadership position in the ANC to co-ordinate the party's security and peace initiatives.

In 1994, Mr Cele was elected onto the party's provincial executive committee in KwaZulu-Natal.

He was the chairman of the ANC's eThekwini region and since 1994, has been an MEC for the provincial Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison.