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FUL & Helen Suzman Foundation vindicated by court’s decision on Ntlemeza

Attorney Vlad Movshovich says the court’s decision is an endorsement of his clients’ arguments.

YouTube screengrab of head of the Hawks Major General Berning Ntlemeza.

PRETORIA – Lobby groups Freedom Under Law (FUL) and the Helen Suzman Foundation say the ruling to set aside the decision to appoint Berning Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks has vindicated them, and confirmed their view that he’s not fit nor proper to hold office.

The High Court in Pretoria on Friday ordered that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s decision to appoint Ntlemeza be set aside.

In 2015, the court found Ntlemeza made false statements under oath and lacked both honour and integrity.

Attorney Vlad Movshovich said the court’s decision is an endorsement of his clients’ arguments.

“The fact that the minister’s decision completely without basis in law and that lieutenant-general Ntlemeza’s integrity is seriously imperiled.”

Movshovich said the Hawks is currently without a head.

“Lieutenant-General Ntlemeza’s tenure as national head of the Hawks is at an end. The effect of setting aside is that retrospectively to 10th September 2015, his appointment was at all times unlawful.”

FUL’s Judge Johann Kriegler says he hopes that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko accepts the judgment and finds a suitable person to fill the position.

Nhleko’s office says the minister will first study the judgment before commenting on it.

PARLY TO SUMMON NHLEKO

The parliamentary portfolio committee said Nhleko will be summoned to a special committee meeting to explain what steps will be taken following Friday’s scathing judgment which has set aside his decision to appoint Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks.

Police portfolio chair Francois Beukman said Minister Nhleko will be called to explain what remedial steps will be taken to deal with this ruling, as well as plans to address deficiencies in the appointment process.

Beekman said it’s critical that this matter be dealt with as a priority because they cannot allow a vacuum in the leadership of the Hawks.

The court found Nhleko had failed in several of his duties as a minister and re-affirmed the adverse findings against Ntlemeza’s integrity.

While Nhleko’s office said the minister is studying the judgment, the ANC said it notes and respects the court’s finding.

The Helen Suzman Foundation said it’s been vindicated.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)