Bheki Cele biography, age, profile, wife, minister & curfew

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Bheki Cele (born 22 February 1952) is a South African politician. He is currently serving as the Minister of Police and was appointed to the position on 26 February 2018.

He was the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service and ended his service in October 2011.


Bheki Cele biography
Police Minister Bheki Cele briefing the media on law enforcement during the National Lockdown Alert Level One.
NameBhekokwakhe “Bheki” Hamilton Cele
Date of birth22 February 1952 (age 69 years)
NationalitySouth African
WifeThembeka Ngcobo
PositionMinister of Police


His date of birth is 22 February 1952. Bheki Cele is 69 years old and celebrates his birthday every year on February 22nd.


Bheki Cele wife
Bheki Cele and his wife wife. Image: TimesLIVE.

Bheki Cele is married to Thembeka Ngcobo. In 2010, Minister Bheki Cele wed Thembeka Ngcobo.


He also served as the National Commissioner of the SA Police Service and ended his service in October 2011. He left the office after receiving a suspension from duty following corruption allegations.

In 2009, Bheki Cele was appointed into the position after replacing Jackie Selebi who received a suspension in January 2008 after he was charged with corruption.

For five years (2004-2009), he served as a Member of the Executive (MEC) for Transport, Safety, and Security in KwaZulu-Natal. Before climbing to this position, he held several portfolios in the KZN provincial government. 

He belongs to the political party African National Congress (ANC). The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, appointed him to serve as the Police Minister during his cabinet reshuffle in 2018.


In 2010, he commented on the SAPS telling them to “shape up or ship out” and further said, “when you walk down the street, people must envy your body”.

One of his comments went viral in the country, the comment “Stomach in, chest out” became a source of inspiration for several techno remixes that used audio from his speech.


The Minister of Police made a vow revealing his desire to disarm South African gun owners who are legally armed.

In 2020, he took over control of the beaches in the country to apprehend the third and fourth waves of the coronavirus pandemic.


The Police Minister was slammed for sending the country to bed ahead of the New Years’ Eve celebrations in the evening. Cele, who told Mzansi to go to sleep by 9 pm warned South Africans to remain home and be in bed by 9 pm in a dramatic speech.

“This time there is no December 31, December 31 people shaya ama tins (light fireworks), there is no tin hitting here (there is no lighting of fireworks here. By 9pm, everybody must be sleeping, everybody is in bed,” he said.

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