President Jacob Zuma fired General Bheki Cele because of his "dishonest" role in the awarding of a R1.7-million contract for police accommodation, the City Press reported on Sunday.
According to the weekend publication, Zuma submitted an affidavit to the High Court in Pretoria this week saying anything short of dismissing Cele would have been inappropriate.
The former national police commissioner is engaged in a court battle to attempt to get his job back after he was dismissed in June.
A board of inquiry had also submitted that Cele knew businessman Roux Shabangu who was awarded the police building lease and was therefore dishonest by not disclosing their relationship.
Cele and Shabangu had denied having any relations prior to the lease arrangement.
Zuma argued that Cele has failed to prove that he (Zuma) had an "ulterior motive" for dismissing him.
The president has requested that the court not to grant the former top cop permission to have his dismissal reviewed.
Cele's lawyers told the City Press that they were looking at getting a court hearing soon.