Police reserve comment on suspension of Hawks boss

The police ministry will not comment in the media about Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, after his lawyers gave Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko until Monday to lift his suspension.

“Dramat and his lawyer decided to make it a media issue. It is really not what we are going to do. The correspondence will remain privileged,” spokesperson Musa Zondi said.

“It is an employer-employee issue and that is why we have refused to speak about the merit of the suspension because the information is privileged.”

On December 30 2015, Dramat’s advocate Johan Nortje told Talk Radio 702 that his suspension was unconstitutional, according to a recent court ruling.

“The most important aspect of the Constitutional Court judgment on November 27 is that the suspension clause has been deleted,” Nortje said in an interview.

“The court was quite clear to say that the clause is constitutionally inconsistent and should be deleted from the date of the order.”

Nortje was referring to a judgment in a case dealing with the constitutionality of legislation to establish the Hawks.

As part of a larger ruling, the Constitutional Court declared that certain defects in the law – such as the “untrammelled” power given to the police minister to dismiss the head of the Hawks – were to be “severed”.

Yet, said Nortje, “10 days later, the minister used that suspension power that was deleted by the Constitutional Court”.

On December 23, Nhleko suspended Dramat, allegedly for his involvement in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010.

Nortje dismissed this reasoning as “nonsense” and “baseless”.

“It’s quite clear that there are politics that are involved here,” he said.

On December 30, the police dismissed reports that Dramat was asked to provide information about the Nkandla investigation to Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

At the time, Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said the National Investigation Unit, under Lt-Gen Vinesh Moonoo, was looking into the R246-million spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private homestead at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said the party believed Dramat’s suspension was linked to Nkandla. However, Ramaloko dismissed these claims. – Sapa

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