Nobody is irreplaceable: Mbalula doesn’t have time for Ntlemeza’s legal woes

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza’s days as head of the organisation may be numbered if comments made by police minister Fikile Mbalula are anything to go by.

Mbalula told journalists on Tuesday that he would not waste time fighting Ntlemeza’s legal battles – especially if his case did not appear to stand much of a chance in a court.

“I think in the police we are not running short of men and women, nobody is irreplaceable here. Anybody can be replaced in the police. I’m not prepared to waste time about general Ntlemeza until Christmas,” Mbalula said. “I’m not intending to make it an issue that must drag on and on in the courts, in a case that is clearly not a case that is winnable in a court of law,” he added.

READ MORE: Could the chief justice theft have anything to do with Ntlemeza, Dlamini defeats?

The newly appointed minister was speaking at a parade held by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to welcome him and his deputy, Bongani Mkongi.

In March 2017, the High Court in Pretoria found Ntlemeza’s appointment to the Hawks to be unlawful and ruled that he be removed from office. However former police minister Nathi Nhleko stood firm in his decision to appoint him and filed an application to appeal the ruling. The appeal process is the only thing keeping Ntlemeza in his position. Should Mbalula decide to abandon the legal action – the Hawks head may find himself out of a job.

While Mbalula expressed confidence in Ntlemeza’s capabilities as a police officer – he displayed little patience for supporting his ongoing legal battles.

“We need the Hawks to fight criminals. We need the Hawks to dig out those criminals with bad motives who are crippling our country in terms of serious economic crimes. We need them. I’m not going to be sitting here without a head [of Hawks] and then somebody [Ntlemeza] is running around in court. I need criminals behind bars,” he said.

A final decision on Ntlemeza would be made once Mbalula received his handover report from Nhleko.

READ MORE: Crib Notes: Why everyone is burning Ntlemeza

Mbalula has also called for normalcy in his department’s relationship with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). He inherits a troubled relationship with Ipid boss Robert McBride, who was suspended by Nhleko in 2015 over his alleged altering of an Ipid document into former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.

“It is important that there must be stability at that particular level. From our side, that is our priority. To ensure that whatever misunderstanding that has been there should actually be addressed, ” Mbalula said.  

Dineo Bendile
Dineo Bendile works from Johannesburg. Political reporter. BLACK. Dineo Bendile has over 2712 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

Court date finally set for death in detention Haffejee inquest

Another apartheid-era death will be investigated after NPA pressured to finally act

State capture commission granted a 13-month extension

Judge Wendy Hughes says this is the final extension because finality is "owed to the nation"

DA’s Moodey joins leadership race

The head of the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng says he wants to take his experience to the national level
Advertising

Press Releases

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences

Making sense of tax-free savings and investment

Have you made the most of your tax-free investment contributions?

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders