A warrant of arrest will be issued against former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza if he does not return a state vehicle which he took when he reported for duty on Monday morning.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula sent a stern warning to Ntlemeza on Monday during a press briefing at the Hawks headquarters.
“It’s unlawful, simple straight and forward. He is roaming the street with police property. The car must be tracked down, that is my instruction. I want that car back before I leave, simple.”
Ntlemeza reported for duty on Monday despite a High Court ruling that his appointment was invalid and should be set aside.
Ntlemeza’s lawyer, Comfort Ngidi, earlier said that Ntlemeza had reported for duty at 7.30am and was meeting with senior officials at the Hawks offices.
Disregarding the law
Mbalula disputed this, saying that Ntlemeza had forced his way into a meeting of senior officials, and then demanded a state vehicle.
He said Ntlemeza was playing politics and disregarding the law.
Mbalula lambasted acting police boss Khomotso Phahlane, saying that he should stop acting “buddy buddy” with Ntlemeza, and that he had instructed him to act against him in terms of the law, or Mbalula would be forced to find someone else to do the job.
Mbalula denied claims made by Ngidi that Ntlemeza had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday. “He has not filled any papers. He threatened us with an appeal. I waited, I didn’t sleep.”
Mbalula praised Ntlemeza for his long career in the service, but said that he was causing drama and using patronage to defy the courts.
“He is not defying me, he is defying the law. He is acting unlawfully. He can defy me; we can even box on the streets … It’s got nothing to do with Mbalula, it’s the court order.”
He said Ntlemeza was trying to communicate a wrong message that there was lawlessness in the security cluster. He warned that he would not hold another press briefing regarding the former Hawks boss, but would “act” now.
Mbalula denied that there was tension between him and Ntlemeza. “He was a good cop when I was here … There is no personal issue between me and him.”
He told journalists that he had piles of cases against Ntlemeza in his office, adding that the disgraced cop had no political backing.
Mbalula was jovial with journalists during the press briefing, even making jokes that Independent Police Investigative Directorate boss Robert McBride did not go to Pastor Mbhoro when he was suspended, but had rather turned to the courts. – News24