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Nhleko to prove court made error of judgment in Ntlemeza ruling

A full bench unanimously agreed that Nhleko’s decision was irrational and that Ntlemeza is not fit nor proper to hold the position.

FILE: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko is expected to argue that the High Court ruling setting aside the appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks breached the principle of separation of powers.

The ministry confirmed on Monday that Nhleko will file an application to appeal the judgment handed down in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

A full bench unanimously agreed that Nhleko’s decision was irrational and that Ntlemeza is not fit nor proper to hold the position.

The Police Ministry’s Sandile Ngidi has confirmed Nhleko will appeal the High Court ruling.

“On the basis, amongst others, that the principal tenet on which the judgment was arrived at was an error of judgment and the matter needs to be taken to appeal.”

The minister believes the full bench is guilty of judicial overreach.

“He does not feel that the appointment that he made is an appointment that needs to be decided upon by the courts as being invalid.”

The lobby groups, Freedom Under Law and Helen Suzman Foundation, which brought the application indicated last week that they would oppose any attempt to appeal the judgment.

An earlier ruling by Judge Elias Matojane had found Ntlemeza lacked integrity and is dishonest, and attempted to mislead the court by making false statements under oath.

In its unanimous judgment, the full bench of the High Court clarified Matojane’s remarks about Ntlemeza were not mere comments as argued by Nhleko, but judicial pronouncements.

Ngidi said the minister will again advance this argument in the appeal.

“The remarks made by Judge Matojane which were used as one of the grounds on which the integrity of General Ntlemeza is being doubted, was not, in fact, a matter in which he has a right to defend himself. We believe that those were remarks by the judge and they do not in themselves constitute a fine.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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