Lawyer asks for more time in Hawks suspension application

2015-01-15 14:11

An application to overturn the suspension of Hawks head Anwa Dramat will be heard on Monday.

The North Gauteng High Court today agreed with lawyers for Police Minister Nathi Nhleko who argued that they hadn’t been given enough time to respond to the Helen Suzman Foundation’s heads of argument.

Dramat and two members of his unit are accused of the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean nationals to their home country.

Nhleko’s lawyer William Mokhari SC told Judge Bill Prinsloo there hadn’t been enough time to file responding heads of argument.

Mokhari said that when they received the letter informing them of the foundation’s court challenge, they could not reach Nhleko to give instructions about their response.

“There is no suggestion that acting Hawks head Major General Benny Ntlemeza is incapacitated,” Mokhari told Prinsloo.

“The Hawks is not crumbling. We request this honourable court to postpone this matter to next Tuesday to allow us to file opposing heads of argument.”

He did not challenge the urgency of the matter nor the merits of the case brought by the foundation.

The foundation’s lawyer, David Unterhalter SC, argued that Nhleko was aware that Dramat’s suspension could be challenged in court and should have been prepared.

“The Constitutional Court has indicated that the head of the Hawks must be free from political interference … For each day that the saga drags on the public loses further confidence in the Hawks as an institution,” Unterhalter said.

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