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18 Apr 2017 15:33
Former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. (Moeletsi Mabe, Gallo)
Former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza will be approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment which found his appointment invalid.
Ntlemeza’s lawyer, Comfort Ngidi, said they were preparing papers which they would be submitting to the SCA before Thursday.
“We have already appointed an attorney to prepare our papers to the SCA,” said Ngidi.
The High Court in Pretoria last week dismissed Ntlemeza’s leave to appeal a previous order of the court that set aside his appointment.
In March, the court found that then police minister Nathi Nhleko had ignored two court judgments, which found that Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty, when he appointed him as head of the elite police unit.
The court found that the findings in both judgments constituted “direct evidence” that Ntlemeza lacked the requisite honesty, integrity, and conscientiousness to hold public office.
Ngidi said the process started on Tuesday, shortly after they received reasons for the ruling which dismissed their application for leave to appeal.
He said, according to the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 - Section 18, the execution of a decision which is the subject of an appeal is suspended pending the decision of an appeal.
“This means that the decision that he must immediately vacate his office is suspended and he has a right to report back to duty,” Ngidi said.
Ntlemeza had been expected to report back for duty after his leave expired on Monday. This despite warnings by the minister of police Fikile Mbalula that the law would be executed if Ntlemeza returned.
“The general will be reporting for duty and if he is disturbed from doing so, we will have to deal with whomever is stopping our client from exercising the rule of law,” Ngidi told News24.
Mbalula replaced Ntlemeza with Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata as the acting head of Hawks.
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