Judgment reserved in Dramat case

2015-02-02 11:09
Anwa Dramat. (Verashni Pillay, News24)

Anwa Dramat. (Verashni Pillay, News24)

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Pretoria - Judgment in an application for leave to appeal the High Court in Pretoria's decision to overturn Hawks boss Anwa Dramat's suspension was reserved on Monday.

Judge Bill Prinsloo said he would attempt to give judgment as soon as he could and added that all parties would be informed.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko felt another court would have reached a different decision on the suspension, his lawyer William Mokhari submitted in the application for leave to appeal.

Nhleko is also appealing the court's finding that his appointment of Major General Berning Ntlemeza as acting head of the Hawks was unlawful and invalid.

Mokhari contended that the court's finding that Dramat's suspension was unlawful did not mean Nhleko was not allowed to appoint an acting Hawks boss.

He set out a number of scenarios in which Nhleko was within his rights to do so, and argued that because there was no deputy head he was able to appoint an acting head.

"If both the national head of the directorate and the deputy head of the directorate are absent, the minister shall appoint a suitably qualified head," Mokhari told the court.

"The only way to displace this appointment... [is] if it is shown that the person appointed did not meet the requirements."

Mokhari also submitted that there was no order about Dramat's reinstatement.

Dramat was scheduled to return to work last Friday, after Prinsloo ruled that his suspension by Nhleko was unlawful and invalid.

However, the police ministry said he could not do so until the appeals process was completed.

Dramat was suspended on 23 December, pending a probe into his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans in November 2010.

The Helen Suzman Foundation on Monday argued against the application for leave to appeal. It also wants the court to enforce its ruling that Dramat's suspension was unlawful, and allow him to return to work.

Max du Plessis, for the foundation, said the matter was not about Dramat, but about the legality of Nhleko's decision.

He said the State had a duty to comply with the court's order, and he did not believe another court would come to a different decision.

"If your lordship said it was unlawful, then it was always unlawful. There is simply no need for an order of reinstatement," Du Plessis said.

This would be redundant, he argued.

"Lieutenant General Dramat was lawfully in office, he was then unlawfully suspended from office... [so] he is still lawfully in office."

Nhleko's argument that Dramat remained suspended pending the appeal "made a mockery" of Prinsloo's original ruling, Du Plessis contended.

"There is no need for a reappointment order."

He argued there was no basis for Prinsloo to grant the application for leave to appeal.

Read more on:    hawks  |  anwa dramat  |  nkosinathi nhleko  |  pretoria  |  crime

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