- Police Minister Bheki Cele has officially revoked his predecessor’s official VIP protection
- Fikile Mbalula continued to receive VIP protection after he was fired from the cabinet by president Ramaphosa in March
- Cele revoked Mbalula’s protection after a threat analysis found the former minister was not in any immediate or imminent danger
Police Minister Bheki Cele has officially revoked his predecessor’s official VIP protection services. According to Parliamentary records, former minister Fikile Mbalula continued to receive VIP protection services for around four months after he was fired from the cabinet.
President Cyril Ramaphosa chose to replace Mbalula with Cele in his first cabinet reshuffle in March this year. Mbalula continued to receive protection between April and July before a threat analysis found the former minister was not in any immediate or imminent danger.
Mbalula was ostensibly moved from the cabinet to head the African National Congress’ (ANC) election campaign for the 2019 general election. Mbalula now works at as party’s head of elections at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mbalula requested an extension to his VIP protection services in a written request to Cele upon his departure from the halls of government.
Eyewitness News reported that the request and subsequent granting and eventual revoking came to light after the Democratic Alliance (DA) requested clarity on the matter through a written Parliamentary question to Cele.
The DA’s Shadow Police Minister Zakhele Mbhele slammed the extension and said that the ministerial handbook made it clear that extending the protection of former minister’s needed clear and good rationale and could not be granted willy-nilly.
Mbhele said granting of the extension in Mbalula’s case seemed odd because he was no longer in the cabinet and had no direct links to the government apart from being an ANC Member of Parliament.
Mbhele implied that he would seek further clarity on the matter from Cele’s office. He added that the DA would be checking into whether any other former ministers were receiving unwarranted privileges such as VIP protection services.
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