Hawks boss says suspension ‘unconstitutional’

Anwa Dramat’s lawyer says the police minister is trying to interfere with the independence of the unit.

Hawks boss Anwa Dramat. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Hawks boss Anwa Dramat's lawyer says Police Minister Nathi Nhleko is trying to interfere with the independence of the unit by suspending him.

The unit head was placed on ' precautionary suspension' last week, pending an investigation into the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010.

Dramat says he will approach the courts if he's not reinstated by next week.

His lawyer, Johan Nortjé, said the suspension was unconstitutional.

"It's difficult to define the political ploy - it's a matter of interfering with the independence of the Hawks."

Dramat has written to Nhleko about the matter, according to a report by the Sunday Times.

The paper said Dramat claimed he made 'powerful enemies' by investigating very influential people who wanted him sacked.

The Hawks boss in a letter said he recently asked for certain case dockets involving very influential people to be centralised under one investigating arm.

He said this resulted in massive resentment.

Dramat apparently offered to go on early retirement on condition that his suspension is lifted.

Nortjé denied claims his client offered to take an early retirement deal.

"Anwa Dramat is, as a transitional arrangement, still head of the Hawks. But it's up to the powers that be to appoint someone after the process. The post has been advertised earlier and he did not apply for it," the lawyer added.

It has emerged Benny Ntlemeza, who has been appointed as acting head of the Hawks, has close ties with former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.