Shadrack Sibiya's suspension declared invalid

The court found acting national head of the unit Berning Ntlemeza didn't have the authority to suspend Sibiya.

Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria has declared the suspension of Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya unlawful and invalid.

The court found acting national head of the unit Berning Ntlemeza didn't have the authority to suspend Sibiya, and that the decision was not sound.

Ntlemeza had suspended his subordinate for his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean prisoners.

Judge Elias Matojane says the suspension of members of senior crime fighting units has a negative impact on public confidence and the rule of law.

He says employees of such units, such as Sibiya, should be suspended only as a last resort and when there is compelling evidence against the person.

Matojane says there is no evidence in fact or law to support Ntlemeza's suspension of Sibiya.

He says the decision was taken in bad faith, was arbitrary and not rationally connected to the purpose of suspending an employee.

The judge also declared the appointment of another officer to act in Sibiya's position, unlawful and invalid.

On Tuesday, the acting Hawks boss said a witness has put Gauteng Hawks head Sibiya at the centre of an illegal rendition scandal dating back to 2010.

The Major-General claims he's being persecuted for overseeing an investigation that led to former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli's arrest in 2011.

Ntlemeza says a witness places Sibiya in Diepsloot giving instructions that Zimbabwean nationals be transported to a local police station before being taken to the Beit Bridge border post.

While Ntlemeza says he's not suggesting Sibiya is guilty, but because of the seriousness of the allegations and his senior position, it's in everyone's interest that he's suspended until the matter is finalised.

(Edited Refilwe Pitjeng)