Top Hawks official to learn fate today

Leslie Maluleke submitted his reasons why he shouldn't be suspended as the acting head of the Hawks.

FILE: The Hawks Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Senior Hawks official and Gauteng section head Leslie Maluleke will today find out if his suspension from the independent crime fighting unit will take effect as he awaits a response to his representations on why he shouldn't be taken off duty.

It's understood Maluleke submitted his reasons why he shouldn't be suspended to the acting head of the Hawks Berning Ntlemeza on Monday.

He been implicated in the alleged illegal rendition of at least four people to Zimbabwe in 2010 and has reportedly been named in an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

If the hawks reject Maluleke's reasons why he should not be suspended, he will become the second person taken off duty in connection with the Zimbabwean rendition case.

The head of the Hawk's Anwa Dramat was the first to be suspended, though he claims that his removal from office is a part of a conspiracy against him.

Opposition parties have questioned why the 2010 case has been resurrected or whether any home affairs officials will also be suspended as fake travel documents were used to get the men home.

Details of the IPID's report into the renditions and claims of political meddling are expected to come under the microscope when Dramat's suspension is challenged in court on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Hawks chief Shadrack Sibiya dodged suspension on Monday after he secured a Labour Court interdict.

Sibiya received notice of suspension from the acting Hawks chief last Monday but that was set aside because he did not receive enough information to respond with reasons why he should keep his position.

'REASONS MUST BE MADE PUBLIC'

On Monday, the Helen Suzman Foundation said the truth and suspected political meddling in the suspension of Dramat must be revealed during court proceedings this week.

A letter, in which Dramat alleges that he is being targetted, will form part of the evidence in the case before the North Gauteng High Court.

The legal challenge was lodged by the foundation.

It's arguing the police minister did not apply the law correctly when removing Dramat from office.

Foundation Director Francis Antonie says the IPID probe into the illegal renditions must be made public.

"The basis of the suspension should be reported in court."

Antonie says while the court challenge is about the Hawks, it is also about a broader accountability issue.

The police ministry says it can only comment after the matter is heard in Pretoria.