The ANC was not privy to the discussions Police Minister Bheki Cele had with former President Jacob Zuma, party Secretary-General Ace Magashule has said.
Magashule responded to questions from journalists on Friday afternoon following his court appearance on fraud, corruption, and money-laundering charges.
“I don’t know if he went there as a minister of police, I can’t say if he abused state resources,” Magashule said about Cele’s visit to Nkandla on Thursday.
“He is minister of police, you can’t separate him from [being a] leader of the ANC.”
Magashule said this in reaction to claims from opposition MPs that Cele had abused state resources to visit Zuma on ANC business, as Cele’s spokesperson said after the meeting that he would report back to the ANC’s leadership before disclosing details about discussions at the meeting.
Cele is a member of the ANC’s national executive committee.
“As to what he went to talk to [former] President Zuma about I’m not privy to those discussions,” said Magashule.
He added that the NEC had mandated the party’s officials to meet with Zuma, and he said they have already “interacted” with him.
“So that meeting will take place I’m sure once the necessary arrangements are being [sic] made. We will inform you that such a meeting will actually take place,” he said.
Cele himself told reporters on Friday that he had a “broad discussion” with Zuma, but hinted that it was to prevent a “disaster” of violence.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Thursday hinted that it was about “law and order” and about the quasi-military displays by men outside Nkandla wearing camouflage gear.
Zuma on Monday defied a Constitutional Court order that he should appear before the state capture inquiry to give evidence.
Magashule told reporters they should not label it the Zondo Commission, after its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, but they should call it the, “… commission of inquiry into alleged state capture”.