Ipid asked to investigate 4 complaints against Hawks head Ntlemeza

 Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: Thapelo Maphakela
Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: Thapelo Maphakela

Hawks head General Berning Ntlemeza has been under investigation since 2012 on four complaints, including alleged obstruction of justice and corruption.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko revealed this during an answer to a parliamentary question yesterday.

Nhleko was recently under fire for flouting some legal prescripts relating to Ntlemeza’s appointment last year – something he described as an oversight.

The Helen Suzman Foundation in turn will also next month challenge Ntlemeza’s appointment and his fitness for office.

Judge Elias Matojane – in the application of Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya to overturn his suspension in the Pretoria High Court earlier – labelled Ntlemeza as “biased and dishonest”.

According to Nhleko, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was investigating a case of defeating the ends of justice and corruption, which was opened against Ntlemeza by Lieutenant Boitumelo Ramahlaha.

A case of perjury was opened by General Johan Booysen, the suspended head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal.

The matter is still under investigation.

Ramahlaha also opened a case of fraud, uttering and corruption against Ntlemeza but prosecution was declined by the director of public prosecutions.

Booysen opened a case of fraud, crimen injuria and defamation of character against Ntlemeza.

Democratic Alliance MP Zak Mbhele, who asked the question, earlier accused Nhleko of not complying with his own laws.

This was because Nhleko only informed Parliament almost a year late of Ntlemeza’s appointment and not within 14 days of the appointment as prescribed by law.

Nhleko also used a legal technicality to explain why he did not get concurrence by the minister of finance for Ntlemeza’s salary.

He only submitted this salary structure to Parliament recently – also almost a year after Ntlemeza was appointed.

Nhleko maintains the salary scale, estimated at about R1.6 million, was submitted to Cabinet and there were no objections.

He added that the finance minister was part of the Cabinet, so agreement was thus obtained.

Mbhele said all of this highlighted the haste with which the Ntlemeza appointment was made alongside the fact that a competency test for him was waived and deemed unnecessary.

Mbhele also questioned the rationality of it because other candidates, such as Booysen, seemed better suited.

“It shows the case for politics outranking professionalism and due process in his appointment just keeps building.”

Ntlemeza, who attended a meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts last week, stood with his hands in his pockets, and said people who wanted to drag him to court were free to do so.

He said he was not commenting on his appointment.

Alicestine October
Parliamentary journalist
Media24 Parliamentary Bureau
City Press
p:+27 11 713 9001
w:www.citypress.co.za  e: alicestine.october@24.com


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