HSF loses Ntlemeza ConCourt appeal bid

2016-09-06 19:01
Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Pretoria - The Constitutional Court has refused the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law leave to appeal a High Court ruling rejecting their bid to have Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza suspended.

It was not in the interests of justice for the court to hear the matter at present, it ordered on Monday.

In April, Pretoria High Court Judge Neil Tuchten dismissed the two organisations’ bid to have Ntlemeza suspended. They argued that he was unfit for office.

Tuchten said there was nothing to suggest that the country would suffer irreparable harm if Ntlemeza remained in office pending a review of the decision to appoint him.

In March 2015, Pretoria High Court Judge Elias Matojane said Ntlemeza “lacks integrity and honour” and made false statements under oath. At the time, Ntlemeza was acting Hawks head.

Ruling reaffirmed

Ntlemeza and the HSF had met in court several times following the suspension of former Hawks head Anwa Dramat for his alleged involvement of the alleged illegal rendition of a group of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.

His suspension saw Ntlemeza appointed in an acting capacity. KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major-General Johan Booysen and the unit’s Gauteng head Shadrack Sibiya were subsequently suspended. Dramat later quit.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the ruling reaffirmed Tuchten’s ruling.

“The National Head of the Hawks has always maintained that he is determined to execute his constitutional mandate to rid the country of serious corruption, serious organised crime, as well as serious commercial crime. He will not be deterred by any person or organisation whose aim is to discredit and tarnish the integrity of the directorate,” Mulaudzi said.

The HSF could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court found that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's decision to suspend Ipid head Robert McBride and institute disciplinary proceedings against him was invalid and should be set aside.

McBride was however still suspended for 30 days, in order for Parliament to decide if it wanted to institute disciplinary proceedings against him.

McBride was suspended in March 2015 for allegedly altering a report by Dramat and Sibiya into the rendition of the Zimbabweans. They were accused of illegally deporting a group of Zimbabweans wanted for murder.

McBride had lodged an urgent application to stop Police Minister Nathi Nhleko from suspending him. The court found it not to be urgent and struck the matter off the roll.

McBride secured a hold on his disciplinary hearing, pending the outcome of this court challenge. The dispute over whether Nhleko could suspend McBride then went to the Constitutional Court.

Read more on:    police  |  hawks  |  berning ntlemeza  |  robert mcbride  |  corruption  |  judiciary

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