Nhleko to appeal Dramat ruling

2015-01-23 22:32

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Johannesburg - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko will appeal the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria's ruling that Hawks boss Anwa Dramat's suspension was invalid, his lawyer said on Friday.

"I have drafted the papers and I've sent them to... [be] signed and certified," William Mokhari told Sapa.

"They should be able to be served today [Friday]."

Earlier on Friday Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled that Dramat's suspension was "unlawful and invalid".

He also ruled that Nhleko's decision to appoint Major General Berning Ntlemeza as acting national Hawks head was unlawful and invalid.

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) approached the court, asking it to set aside Nhleko's decision to suspend Dramat and Ntlemeza's subsequent appointment.

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

The HSF maintained the wording of the SA Police Service Act, under which Nhleko purportedly made the decision, had been struck down by the Constitutional Court, making Dramat's suspension invalid.

David Unterhalter SC, for HSF, argued previously that the "decapitation" of the head of such a critically important crime and corruption fighting unit was gravely damaging to his office and public confidence in the unit's independence.

"It is simply a case of unlawful conduct by the minister and we ask that the court intervenes," he submitted.

He said the timing of Nhleko's actions was suspicious.

"It is rather extraordinary that he is said to be deeply worried, but he waited for months after being appointed [police minister]. That is inexplicable," said Unterhalter.

He said the law stipulated that the head of the crime combating unit could be suspended only following a parliamentary process.

On Friday, Prinsloo concurred with Unterhalter.

"It is declared that the minister is not empowered to suspend the national head of the [Hawks] other than in accordance with Section 17d A3 of the South African Police Service Act of 1995," said Prinsloo.

He ordered Nhleko to pay the HSF's legal costs.

Read more on:    police  |  hawks  |  anwa dramat  |  nathi nhleko  |  pretoria  |  politics

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