S Africa: Zuma sacks ministers suspected of graft

Zuma has himself faced corruption allegations before he came to the presidency.

Updated: Oct 24, 2011, 22:03 PM IST

Johannesburg: South African President Jacob
Zuma today fired two ministers and suspended the national
police chief after investigations by the government ombudsman
accused them of corruption.

Minister for Local Government Sicelo Shiceka and Public
Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde were axed, while
national police commissioner Bheki Cele has been suspended,
Zuma told reporters.

South Africa`s strident Public Protector Thuli Madonsela
earlier this month found Shiceka guilty of misusing public
funds for posh holiday travels, while Mahlangu-Nkabinde and
Cele were accused of misconduct in USD 211 million leases for
new police headquarters.

Zuma, who himself faced corruption allegations before he
came to the presidency, thanked the ousted ministers "for
their contribution to building a better life for all" in South
Africa and announced a board of inquiry into the police
leases.

Madonsela found Shiceka guilty of maladministration,
unlawful conduct and repeated abuse of public funds for stays
in posh hotels, including a trip to Switzerland to visit his
girlfriend in prison.

Madonsela acts as an ombudsman for government, and urged
Zuma to take "serious action" against Shiceka within 60 days.
Shiceka has threatened legal action over the report, which
he has termed "baseless and devoid of evidence".

PTI