Zille: Hawks boss suspension political

Anwa Dramat was placed on precautionary suspension last week by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille on Tuesday questioned the suspension of Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.

She said some of the cases his unit was investigating were linked to people close to President Jacob Zuma.

Dramat was placed on precautionary suspension last week by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, pending an investigation into the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010.

The suspended Hawks boss says he will approach the courts if he's not reinstated by next week.

Zille says Nhleko does not have the powers to suspend top cops and agrees with Dramat that this is a political case.

"What we're seeing here is exactly what we've seen in the other institutions - when you get too close to Zuma and his cohorts and his cronies in politics, you get taken out. That is what I think is going on here."

Dramat's lawyer Johan Nortjé earlier accused the minister of interfering with the work of the Hawks.

The Constitutional Court earlier struck down a clause police act and ruled that the police minister couldn't interfere in appointments within the Hawks.

Nortjé said, "The court was quite clear to say that clause is constitutionally inconsistent and should be deleted from the date of the order. Ten days later, the minister used that suspension power."