We've got news for you.

Register on DispatchLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Cele withdraws claim that Malema plotted his ousting, as Shivambu digs in his heels

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also in trouble for saying presiding officer is 'not useful'

Police minister Bheki Cele.
Police minister Bheki Cele.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Police minister Bheki Cele has been forced to withdraw a claim he made in the National Assembly sitting in the Cape Town city hall over an alleged plot to oust him.

Cele on Monday made the sensational claim that EFF leader Julius Malema had secretly met police commissioner Khehla Sitole on December 10 2020 to plot his removal.

Sitole on Tuesday lashed out at the claim.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu complained that Cele was casting aspersions on the person of Malema, after which he called Cele “useless”.

Deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ruled that both Cele and Shivambu were out of order in their respective claims, and both must withdraw them unconditionally.

Cele withdrew his claim that Malema was plotting his removal with Sitole.

Shivambu retracted his statement with conditions, arguing that there was nothing wrong in calling a member of the executive “useless” when you hold them accountable.

The EFF deputy president said they would contest Tsenoli's “irrational ruling” within parliamentary structures and were ready for a court fight on the matter should they exhaust all internal processes without a favourable outcome.

“It can never be correct that in parliament we cannot call the executive 'useless'. How else are we going to expose their weaknesses in terms of what happens?” Shivambu charged. “I withdraw but not from the bottom of my heart because I am not convinced ... but I withdraw, it is fine.”

Tsenoli said Shivambu will have to be pursued further for not following the ruling to withdraw unconditionally.

Shivambu was stubborn.

“We are going to appeal that ruling in the internal rules process and if it means we go to court we will do that.

“We are going to court to expose this irrational and senseless judgment that says  we cannot say people are useless when people are useless.”

The house degenerated into chaos, with EFF MPs saying Cele had not withdrawn on the record by speaking into a microphone that was switched on.

A tussle with Tsenoli ensued, with EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi saying the deputy speaker was “not useful”, a comment he was ordered to withdraw, or find himself in trouble just like Shivambu.

“Honourable member,  withdraw that statement and if you do not then you are in trouble,” an agitated Tsenoli ordered Ndlozi, who altered his statement, saying, “Honourable deputy speaker, you are useful.”



Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.