A new suspension notice was issued to Gauteng Hawks chief Shadrack Sibiya on Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the first one was withdrawn.
He now has five days to give reasons as to why he should not be suspended.
“The new order is more substantive than the previous order,” said Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi. He did not elaborate on the new charges.
He said the charges still related to the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010 and 2011.
The new notice is expected to provide answers required by Sibiya, to raise his defence – namely the “when, where, how and against whom [he] allegedly transgressed”. Sibiya and his lawyer will have to decide if the new notice provides sufficiently detailed to assist Sibiya in drawing up his defence.
Not enough detail
Sibiya was granted an urgent application in the Labour Court on Sunday after he told the court that the suspension notice that he had been given was not detailed enough to allow him to defend himself against the charges.
The state withdrew the notice on Tuesday night, a day before they were expected to go before the Labour Court to defend the suspension notice.
Sibiya’s lawyer Victor Nkhwashu was told on Wednesday only that a new notice would be issued “in due course.
Mulaudzi said the second suspension notice provided more detail about the charges faced by Sibiya. Nkhwashu could not be contacted late Wednesday so it’s not clear if the state has met Sibiya’s demands, and whether they would be issuing their argument in mitigation in the next five days.
Another Hawks official was suspended this week. Leslie Maluleke, a senior Hawk, was served his a suspension notice on Tuesday. He was also charged with the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010 and 2011. It is not clear if his suspension notice will also be reissued.
Speed of suspensions
Nkhwashu question the speed with which this suspension orders were being handed out. “We do not understand the rush, when the original investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was carried out four years ago.
“Do they have new information,” he said. According to a letter in the Mail & Guardian’s possession the directorate had not “recommended the suspension (or prosecution) of Major-General Sibiya in its report submitted to the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority)”.
The NPA is still investigating the matter.
Sibiya objected to the first notice, handed to him on holiday, on the grounds that it was “vague insofar as details relating to”.
Without these details, he said, he could not defend himself, he said.
The Labour Court ruling meant Sibiya could return to work on Monday, pending the hearing in the Labour Court on Wednesday. But the new notice suspended Sibiya with immediate effect.
Sibiya’s boss, national Hawks head Anwa Dramat, has been suspended on the same charges as Sibiya and Maluleke
Dramat has claimed that they are being targeted because of high profile investigations they were undertaking. He has been replaced by acting head Benny Ntlemeza.