High Court: Acting Hawks boss ignored crucial evidence

Judge Elias Matojane claims there was indisputable evidence that Berning Ntlemeza ignored

FILE: Shadrack Sibiya will now be allowed to return to work. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria found that acting Hawks boss, Berning Ntlemeza, ignored crucial evidence exonerating the unit's Gauteng head, Shadrack Sibiya, when deciding to suspend him.

The suspension has now been declared unlawful and invalid, allowing Sibiya to return to work immediately.

Ntlemeza suspended his subordinate for his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean prisoners several years ago.

Judge Elias Matojane claims there was indisputable evidence that suggests Sibiya was not involved in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean prisoners - evidence Ntlemeza ignored.

"There is therefore no basis for suggesting that the applicant's continued presence in the work place will be prejudicial to the investigations."

The judge said Ntlemeza was repeatedly challenged to produce the Ipid and internal integrity report into Sibiya's conduct.

"He has refused to take the court and the applicant into his confidence by making the reports available because they vindicate the applicant."

The Hawks said it would study the judgment before deciding on their next step.

SIBIYA WELCOMES THE RULING

While the Gauteng Hawks boss has welcomed the lifting of his suspension, the unit's management said it still needed to still study the judgment because it has a strong case against the lieutenant-general.

Sibiya's attorney Victor Nkhwashu said his client would report for duty on Monday.

"It's a good sense of relief that once again the rule of law has won in this particular case. It is not the applicant or the respondent who have either won or lost, but the rule of law.

The Hawks' Hangwani Mulaudzi said the judgment needed to be studied.

"We will look at the judgment; there are serious issues that were raised. But we believe we have a very serious case, and as such we will be sitting down as soon as possible to find a way forward on this matter."

He said the unit would abide by the court order and allow Sibiya to return to work.