Cele revokes Mbalula's VIP protection from police ministry

Fikile Mbalula was axed as police minister earlier this year in March but still received VIP protection for about four months after that.

FILE: Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has revoked his predecessor Fikile Mbalula's VIP protection.

Mbalula was axed as police minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa's first cabinet reshuffle in March this year but still received VIP protection for about four months after that.

The former police minister, who is now based at Luthuli House as the African National Congress’ head of elections, had applied to Cele for an extension of his VIP protection benefits.

In a written parliamentary reply, Cele says Mbalula was offered VIP protection between April and July this year.

He was responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Police Minister Zakhele Mbhele.

Cele says the protection was revoked after a threat analysis found that there was none against Mbalula.

But Mbhele says according to the ministerial handbook, there still needs to be a good rationale for the extension.

“But I guess in terms of the Mbalula scenario, one would need to see what the rational or the motivation was for the extension application. It certainly would seem irregular if he’s no longer a cabinet minister.”

Mbhele says the party will now be looking to see if there are any other former ministers who are still receiving special VIP treatment.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)