High Court judgment vindicates Ntlemeza – Hawks

2016-04-19 18:14
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Pretoria – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has welcomed the Pretoria High Court judgment, which it said "vindicates" its head, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza.

"This judgment vindicates the fact that the integrity of... Ntlemeza is beyond reproach," spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, told News24.

The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday dismissed an urgent court application brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and Freedom Under Law to prohibit Ntlemeza from leading the Hawks or making any decisions.

Judge Neil Tuchten dismissed the urgency of the application on Tuesday. "The application for relief pendete lite [pending litigation] is dismissed," he said in his judgment.

Ntlemeza and the HSF had met on numerous occasions in court following the suspension of former Hawks head, Anwa Dramat, over the alleged rendition of Zimbabwean nationals.

Ignored key evidence

Dramat's suspension saw Ntlemeza appointed in an acting capacity. The suspensions of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss, Major General Johan Booysen, and Gauteng head, Major General Shadrack Sibiya, soon followed. Dramat later quit.

After Ntlemeza suspended Booysen, the latter went to court to have the suspension overturned.

In that case, which took place in November 2015, Judge Anton Van Zyl set aside the suspension and found Ntlemeza had ignored key evidence in his bid to suspend Booysen.

The court also found there was no indication he had considered material details Booysen submitted to defend himself against allegations of racketeering.

In another judgment in the High Court in Pretoria in March 2015, Judge Elias Matojane dealt with an application by Ntlemeza to overturn the lifting of the suspension of former Gauteng Hawks boss, Shadrack Sibiya, also implicated in the rendition of the Zimbabweans.

Withheld information

In that judgment, News24 reported that Matojane found Ntlemeza had withheld information and made false statements under oath while seeking leave to appeal the court's ruling which overturned Sibiya's suspension in March.

Mulaudzi said the Hawks would continue fighting crime despite the legal battles they had encountered. He said they would let their actions speak on their behalf.

"And so it is with this enduring spirit that we must move forward, together whilst respecting the role of the DPCI, its independence and strict mandate to fight serious crime," he said.

"Court processes are just another selfish tool to divert attention. We remain unshaken in our quest to fighting serious crime."

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