It is high time that Berning Ntlemeza accepts that he is no longer the head of South Africa’s crime busting unit, the Hawks.
Last week, the North Gauteng High Court set aside Ntlemeza’s appointment as head of the Hawks with immediate effect. This judgement stands, regardless of Ntlemeza’s intention to take the decision on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Indeed, the attorney for the Helen Suzman Foundation has stated that “Should he wish to petition the SCA [Supreme Court of Appeal] for further appeal process, they may do so but the effect of the enforcement order is that pending those appeal processes, Ntlemeza is not allowed to go back to office.”
Moreover, Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has removed Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks and has already replaced him with the previous deputy head of the Hawks, Yolisa Matakata, until a permanent replacement can be found.
Ntlemeza should put the needs of South Africans first by allowing the Hawks to perform their role and investigate the many cases that were not looked into during his term in office.
Two previous North Gauteng High Court judgements found that Ntlemeza had failed to act in good faith and that he was dishonest and acted without integrity.
The DA has long held that Ntlemeza is not fit to hold office and cannot be trusted with leading South Africa’s crime-fighting division.
The uncertainty that results from his continued refusal to accept that he has been removed only serves to disrupt the effective functioning of the Hawks, which we cannot allow given the unacceptably high level of crime in our country.
The DA will not stand by while Ntlemeza further destabilises the Hawks and we will not hesitate to lay charges of defeating the ends of justice should he try return to his former office next week.