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Bheki Cele: ‘If this is the end for me, I will go home, grateful to have served the people of South Africa’

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Minister of Police Bheki Cele said he has a home to go to, adding that at the start of anything, one would be mad not to think about the end.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. File Picture: Bongani Shilubane / Independent Newspapers

PLICE Minister Bheki Cele said he is not disgruntled after his name, among other African National Congress heavyweights, did not make the ANC’s list of candidates to serve in the 400-member National Assembly.

It was reported on Friday that Cele, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu; Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi; Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; Minister of Public Service and Administration Noxolo Kiviet; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise; and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor are among those whose names did not appear on the list.

A massive Cabinet shake-up is now on the cards after the several Cabinet ministers who also serve in Parliament got the chop on the list to serve in the seventh National Assembly. This comes after the ANC lost 71 seats in a dismal election performance last week.

Speaking to the SABC in Tshwane, Cele said he has no hard feelings and he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of South Africa.

“I have a home. As a human being, if there is a start, you would be mad not to think about the end. There is a start and the end has arrived, if it has arrived. I left home to come and work, so if work is not there, I go home and reflect, see how you go forward,” said Cele who previously served as national commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Bheki Cele during his tenure as national commissioner of SAPS. File Picture: Jacques Naude

“Life has many streams and all that. You cannot be kicking the dust when the time has arrived asking people and getting worried about it, as if you didn’t know that the time will come. Once it starts, it will have to end.

“I can just be grateful to the people of South Africa in particular my organisation, ANC that has given me the (opportunity). When I was in exile, when I was in prison, I never dreamt that I would be a minister one day. It has happened, just be grateful, be gracious, be humble, go home and keep quiet. Do not move around making noise as if somebody told you that you would be a permanent minister. There is no such thing,” said Cele, who was with his deputy Cassel Mathale and SAPS top officials.

Deputy Minister of Police, Cassel Mathale. File Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

After a lengthy ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which lasted for about 12 hours on Thursday, the ANC led by President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that it had resolved to form a government of national unity – intensifying the process of engaging its rival political parties, including perennial adversaries the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters, and the Inkatha Freedom Party to join hands in forming South Africa’s seventh administration.

The ANC dramatically fell from the 57.50% it garnered in the 2019 general elections to 40.18% in last week’s hotly-contested elections.

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