Hawks boss’ disciplinary hearing will go ahead, court rules

2015-03-13 08:24

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Suspended Gauteng Hawks boss Major-General Shadrack Sibiya failed yesterday in his bid before the North Gauteng High Court to put a halt to his impending disciplinary hearing.

Netwerk24 reported that Judge Hans Fabricius said the court was unlikely to interfere with pending or ongoing disciplinary processes.

“The court cannot predict how the disciplinary hearing will be handled. Perhaps the applicant [Sibiya] is found innocent. If not, he can approach the court afterwards to challenge the decision.”

Fabricius said the charges against Sibiya were serious and it would make sense if he was fired should he be found guilty.

Sibiya was notified last week that the hearing, regarding his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans in 2010 was set to take place today.

The hearing of another senior Hawks official, Leslie “Cowboy” Maluleke, who is also implicated in the alleged renditions, is also set to take place today.

On the internal charge sheet, Sibiya is accused of “defeating the ends of justice and gross dereliction of duty”.

His legal team swiftly filed the urgent application to have the notice of the disciplinary hearing set aside.

The police submitted their answering affidavit at 11pm on Wednesday. Advocate Naomi Manaka, for Sibiya, argued that she did not have sufficient time to prepare an answer to fresh allegations made by the police and to ask her client for instructions.

Fabricius asked why Sibiya did not attend court in person.

“Surely he has a personal interest in the case. Why isn’t he here?”

He refused to postpone the matter and adjourned the court twice to give Manaka time to contact Sibiya.

He added that he could not see how Sibiya’s answer to fresh allegations made in the police’s affidavit would make a difference to the case, because he “would not be looking at the merits, but rather the urgency of the application”.

“We should have been given more time to reply to the allegations. It is unfair that the court insisted on hearing the matter today, but we abide by the judgment,” said Sibiya’s lawyer, Victor Nkhwashu.

Sibiya was suspended in January by acting Hawks boss Major-General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza, but Judge Elias Matojane overturned the suspension and ruled it “invalid, illegal and unconstitutional”.

The police’s legal team brought an application for leave to appeal. Then Sibiya’s legal team brought an urgent application to request a court order allowing him to return to work in the interim.

In a twist, Ntlemeza submitted court papers on Monday afternoon in which he accuses Sibiya’s lawyers of consulting with Matojane without informing the police’s legal team.

Matojane reacted angrily to the allegation.

Deputy judge president Aubrey Ledwaba yesterday consulted with all the parties in his chambers and the allegations were retracted.

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