“We wish to point out that the affidavit quoted by the media house [on Sunday], purporting to be a new response by the president, was in fact filed in 2012,” presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
“It is therefore grossly misleading, unethical and mischievous to give an impression that the court papers are new.”
The Sunday Independent earlier reported that Zuma has defended his decision to fire Cele in court papers filed on his behalf.
“[Cele] failed to make out a case for the review of the president’s decision,” said Zuma’s legal adviser Boniswe Makhene in the court papers.
In July 2012, Cele launched a court application to contest the findings of a report – used to fire him as national police commissioner – written by a board of inquiry led by Judge Jake Moloi.
The board found that Cele had acted dishonestly and with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals he signed.
According to the newspaper on Sunday, Makhene said that in light of the inquiry’s finding, the president found the “removal” of Cele was warranted.
Makhene said that Cele had also failed to produce evidence that could “substantiate his bold assertion that the president’s decision was actuated by ulterior motivates.”
Cele’s lawyer, Dinesha Deeplat from Strauss Daly Attorneys, told the Sunday Independent that its heads of argument were yet to be filed – following which they would apply for the matter to be set down in court.
Cele wants the report and the recommendations declared invalid.