Will axed Hawks boss Ntlemeza report for duty on Tuesday?


File: Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza

JOHANNESBURG: Axed Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza made it clear he plans to report for duty on Tuesday morning, despite losing his bid to appeal his removal.

A court found his appointment was unlawful and irrational, but Ntlemeza said only Parliament can fire him and new Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is acting outside his mandate by dismissing him.

Ntlemeza plans to challenge the move in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

But Mbalula has had enough and he said, “General Ntlemeza must know his place and must respect the law and he must not act illiterate when it comes to the law.

"As a law officer he must understand what the law says in relation to himself, he must not want the law to come down on him mercilessly.”



Legal expert Ulrich Roux from BDK Attorneys agrees with Mbalula and feels Ntlemeza would be better off staying away from work tomorrow.

Roux said, “We must look at whether he’s entitled to return to his office tomorrow.

"I’ve seen there’s been a massive stand-off between him and the new minister of police Fikile Mbalula, with Berning Ntlemeza saying he’s going to return to his office, and saying that minister Mbalula doesn’t have the authority to fire him so to speak.

"In that regard, I think he’s completely wrong because it’s got nothing to do with the minister, it’s got to do with the high court order saying that his appointment as the head of the Hawks was completely unlawful and that he is to vacate his office as of immediate effect.

"The court went one step further and said that even if he had to appeal this decision-  even if he had to approach the SCA – the decision by the court is of immediate effect. It’s not pending any petition or any appeal procedure which he might want to entertain.

"Now, whether he has any chance of success in that appeal process, we will have to wait and see. Of course, he launched an application for leave to appeal with the High Court and that application was dismissed with the High Court saying there’s no chances of success in a higher court.

"So, it seems to me at this stage, I would say that Mr Ntlemeza has his back against the wall and if he does pitch for work tomorrow he’s in pure contempt of the court order.

"I would not be surprised if either the Minister of Police, or the Helen Suzman Foundation or the Freedom Under Law foundation approaches the high court on an urgent basis, saying that Mr Ntlemeza is in contempt of the High Court order.

"And if he’s found to be in contempt and he does not remedy his contempt of the court order, he could very well be jailed.”

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