Hawks boss Dramat quits after reaching settlement

Anwa Dramat. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Anwa Dramat. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat has officially resigned as head of the Hawks, police commissioner Riah Phiyega told Parliament.

Phiyega said Tuesday that Dramat and the police had reached a settlement, the culination of a long-running legal battle following his suspension.

“Dramat has confirmed his request to leave the service and we are processing that agreement.”

The Mail & Guardian reported how Phiyega offered Dramat a R3-million severance payment, in addition to R60 000 per month until he turns 60, in return for his resignation.

According to a source close to the process, Phiyega made the offer on behalf of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.

Suspension
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko suspended Dramat in December last year for his alleged involvement with the rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010.

A day after his suspension, Dramat wrote in a letter to the minister claiming he was being targeted because he was investigating “dockets implicating influential people”.

He insinuated he feared for his life, and said he would be “willing” to accept early retirement – as provided for in Article 35 of the Police Act – on condition the minister lifted his suspension. 

Well-placed police sources earlier told Netwerk24 Dramat was being targeted because he refused to let go of the Nkandla investigation. 

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in January Dramat’s suspension was unconstitutional and that he should be reinstated in his post.

Dramat had, however, never returned to office, and his legal representatives have been locked in negotiations with the minister’s legal team till now.

‘Absolute and complete contempt’
DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard reacted angrily when Phiyega announced Dramat’s resignation to the committee.

“You are ignoring the court order. It was called unlawful and set aside. You have treated the court with absolute and complete contempt,” she said.

Phiyega responded that Dramat is no longer in his post “because of what he requested”.

Nhleko’s spokesperson Musa Zondi said Dramat did no longer wanted to stay in the police.

“The court never ruled that Dramat should be forced to work at SAPS. In his first letter to the minister in December, Dramat indicated his desire to leave. This is just the culmination of that request.”

Limbo
Dramat has been in limbo since December 2014 when Nhleko purported to “suspend” him over allegations that he was involved in the illegal deportation of Zimbabwean criminal suspects in 2010.

It is not clear how the attempt to cut a deal with Dramat aligns with Nhleko’s claims he has serious criminal allegations to answer.

Dramat has denied being involved in or authorising the illegal renditions.

In a letter to the minister, Dramat blamed the move against him on his attempts to investigate high-profile people. 

He later told his ­lawyers he believed the trigger was his bid to have the Hawks take over the investigation of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla security upgrade. –  News24.com

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