Urgent court application made to enforce court ruling on Dramat’s reinstatement

The Helen Suzman Foundation has also asked for direct access to the Constitutional Court in a bid to have Dramat reinstated. 

Within hours of the foundation’s high court victory on Friday, Police minister Nathi Nhleko announced that he had lodged an appeal. 

This frustrated efforts to reinstate Dramat immediately as an appeal means that the high court order cannot be enforced pending the appeal hearing. 

Foundation director Francois Antonie said the decision to take action in both courts was reached after “consulting extensively” with legal advisors. Antonie is concerned that further delay caused by appeals will fester uncertainty”. 

“If the high court grants such an enforcement order, the high court order would be enforced regardless of any appeal,” he said.  

The foundation also wants the matter to be decided in the Constitutional Court to avoid any further delays caused by the appeals process. 

In a short judgement delivered on Friday morning, Judge Bill Prinsloo set aside Nhleko’s appointment of Benny Ntlemeza as the Hawks’ acting national head, and ordered Nhleko to pay the foundation’s legal costs. 

The foundation had filed the urgent application seeking Dramat’s reinstatement and the reversal of Ntlemeza’s appointment on the grounds that Dramat’s suspension contravened new rules governing the independence of the Hawks. 

In government’s application to appeal it said: “The court erred in finding that the minister has no power to suspend the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [Hawks] other than as contemplated in sections … of the South African Police Service Act.” 

Judge Prinsloo agreed with the foundation that the Police Service Act, as amended by an earlier Constitutional Court judgment, only allows for suspension of the head of the Hawks after a decision by the relevant parliamentary committee. 

Police department spokesperson Musa Zondi said on January 23 that the appeal documents had been served, and that Dramat remained suspended. 

Irreversible consequences
Antonie, in a supporting affidavit lodged with the high court on Monday, said: “the situation had become even more urgent. As confirmed by this honourable court, every day that the national head is out of office on the basis of unlawful ministerial interference poses an unacceptable risk to the work and operation of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) as well as public confidence in such a vital institution of government”.  

Antonie said the acting head was already making decisions that would have far-reaching and irreversible consequences.  

He was referring to an article Beeld carried on January 13, in which Ntlemeza was alleged to have asked for a copy of the DPCI structure so that changes would be considered.  

Antonie said he has also transferred Colonel Zama Basi, head of integrity, and Colonel Mike Reddy, head of finances, and replaced former spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko with his own spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi. 

He said media articles suggest that at least 12 senior officers, all of whom headed forums which dealt with corruption cases, have been replaced since he was appointed in late December last year. 

“The urgency in this matter cannot be overstated,” he said. “The DPCI is an indispensable investigative organ, whose reach extends to the highest office in South Africa, and must be given substantial protections to carry out its mandate to combat corruption and organised crime.” 

Dramat, who was suspended on allegations that he was involved in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans – two of whom were found dead – said in papers before the high court that he was being targeted because of an investigation he had launched into the president’s residence Nkandla.

Separately, Special Investigating Unit head, Vas Soni, on Monday resigned in a surprise move, citing personal reasons for his decision. 

During his career one of Soni’s tasks included conducting an investigation into President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home.

“I think it has been stressful and it’s a serious challenge … I had spent almost my entire working life in the private sector and did not realise what a challenge working in the public sector is,” Soni told eNCA.


Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike

Press Releases

Dr Mathew Moyo’s journey to academic victory

The NWU's chief director for library and information services was appointed as a board member of the National Council for Library and Information Services.

UKZN pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala, Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

The university joins the global community in mourning the passing of legendary musician and founding member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala.

South Africa to be almost R 14-billion wealthier when SAB Zenzele BB-BBEE scheme winds down in April 2020

It’s the biggest BB-BEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history, with a new scheme to be launched

UKZN vice-chancellor calls for perspective and creative engagement on the way forward

In addition to overcoming the deadlock between UKZN and students, a way must be found to reconcile the university's financial obligations and students' long-term needs.

Survey shows South Africans’ approval of president but not of political parties

According to the survey, 62% of South Africans think Cyril Ramaphosa is doing his job well, while 39% say no political party represents their views.

Andrew Makenete joins Africa Agri Tech as an event ambassador

Makenete has a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector

Is your company prepared for the coronavirus?

Companies should consider the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic when evaluating whether they are prepared for the coronavirus, says ContinuitySA.

Explaining the distribution of pension funds

Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act puts the ultimate decision-making responsibility in trustees' hands, says Fedgroup.