Hawks boss Ntlemeza fights for his job

2017-03-22 21:28
Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza (Netwerk24)

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Evidence presented in court did not conclusively prove that disgraced Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza was not fit to hold office, he argues in court papers.

Both Ntlemeza and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Monday filed applications for leave to appeal against Friday's ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that his appointment as Hawks head was unlawful and invalid.

Judge David Mabuse found Nhleko ignored two earlier judgments by Judge Elias Matojane, stating that Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty, when he appointed him head of the elite police unit.

Mabuse said the findings in both judgments constituted direct evidence that Ntlemeza lacked the requisite honesty, integrity, and conscientiousness to hold public office.

In his application to appeal Mabuse's ruling, Ntlemeza argues that the court failed to consider his written responses to Matojane's comments.

"It is respectfully submitted that another court could come to a conclusion that the pronouncement by Judge Matojane in both judgments about alleged dishonesty and impropriety were with respect devoid of evidence placed before him and therefore inappropriate."

Information withheld

Mabuse's error in judgment could not constitute a lack of fitness to hold office, he argues.

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and Freedom Under Law had brought the application, asking the court to refer the appointment back to a selection panel for a new candidate to be chosen.

In January 2015, Ntlemeza suspended Gauteng Hawks head Major-General Shadrack Sibiya for his involvement in the alleged illegal rendition of Zimbabwean prisoners in 2010.

Sibiya challenged the decision in the High Court and won. Ntlemeza applied for leave to appeal against the judgment.

In his ruling, Matojane found Ntlemeza had withheld information from the court and police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which could have enabled the court to make a proper assessment. He found Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty.

In his application for leave to appeal, Nhleko said Matojane erred in relying on the Sibiya judgment.

"The full court erred in relying on the remarks made in the Sibiya judgment since such remarks were made without the second respondent [Ntlemeza] having been afforded an opportunity to deal therewith."

Read more on:    hawks  |  berning ntlemeza  |  nathi nhleko  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary

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