Bhekokwakhe "Bheki" Hamilton Cele (born 22 February 1952) is the South African Minister of the Police. He was appointed to this post on the 26th February 2018. He was previously the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service until October 2011, when he was suspended from duty, due to allegations of corruption. He was appointed to this position in July 2009, replacing Jackie Selebi, who was suspended in January 2008 following charges of corruption. From 2004 to 2009 he held the post of Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Transport, Safety and Security in KwaZulu-Natal after holding various other portfolios in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government. He is a member of the African National Congress.
General Bheki Cele was dismissed as national police chief in June, 2012. "I have decided to release General Cele from his duties," Zuma told reporters in Pretoria.
He referred to the board of inquiry mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with business tycoon Roux Shabangu—one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban.
"The board has found General Cele to be unfit for office and has recommended his removal from office in terms of the provisions of section 8(6)(b)(v) of the South African Police Service Act No. 68 of 1995," said Zuma.
Despite this, in November 2013, he was placed on the ANC's list of preferred candidates to go to parliament.
In January 2014, he attempted to delay the South African Public Protector's report on wasteful expenditure at Nkandla - President Jacob Zuma’s private homestead.
Cele was appointed as the Police Minister by newly-appointed President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his cabinet reshuffle at the end of February 2018.
Corrupt administration of Taxpayer money
Bheki Cele is under investigation, as evidence shows R1.7 billion rand spent on building leases were unlawful, improper and constituted maladministration. Though suspended, South African taxpayers spend at least R1.3-million a year on his salary.
Conflict with Inkatha Freedom Party
In April 2009 he drew criticism for comments made at a rally in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, about the Inkatha Freedom Party, and its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The remarks, insinuating IFP propagation of illicit weaponry, were made against a background of political tension and violence in the Natal province.
2009 NEHAWU strike
Cele also played a role in the suspension of a three-day strike of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) over the failure to address their concerns regarding KwaZulu-Natal department of transport official Chris Hlabisa. According to Nehawu's Vusi Gama, they suspended the strike, which had been organised to call for Hlabisa's sacking, after asking for a meeting with Cele.
Comments to SAPS
In September 2010, Cele made comments regarding the SAPS, telling them to "shape up or ship out", and saying "when you walk down the street, people must envy your body." One of his comments, "Stomach in, chest out", has become viral in South Africa and has inspired several techno remixes using audio from his speech.