Cele to challenge Public Protector's findings that SAPS failed to protect whistleblowers

Police Minister Bheki Cele plans to launch a judicial review of a report by the Public Protector that found that he, along with the South African Police Service (SAPS), failed to provide protection to whistleblowers on corruption and police killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the report dated August 10 according to the Sunday Times, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane also found that Cele and the police's failure to protect the two whistleblowers could have resulted in their assassination. The two men claimed the murder of former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa was as a result of exposing corruption in the region. 

Magaqa and two other Umzimkhulu ANC councillors were shot on July last year while on their way back from an ANC meeting. He later died at the Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban from gunshot wounds he sustained in the ambush.

"Minister of Police Bheki Cele has serious reservations on the report's findings and the proposed remedial actions by the Office of the Public Protector," the minister's spokesperson Reneilwe Serero said in a statement on Thursday.

The report in question has not yet been made public but details were published in a report in the Sunday Times. Cele said the "leakage" compromised the Public Protector's integrity.

"Minister of police finds this leakage not being consistent with the integrity of the Office of the Public Protector in handling such matters (sic)," Serero said.

Cele has since instructed SAPS officials to study the report with the intention of "launching an application for a judiciary review".

"This is done in light of the dire consequences for the Ministry of Police and the SAPS if this report is left unchallenged, especially on the operation of the protection and security services," Serero concluded.

READ: Moerane Commission report tabled before portfolio committees in KZN legislature