General Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: Independent Media
Johannesburg - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday said "he has noted" the judgment of the North Gauteng High Court on the case brought against him by the sacked head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), General Berning Ntlemeza.
Earlier on Thursday, General Ntlemeza's case was struck off the roll and he was ordered to pay costs of two counsels as teh court found the matter was not urgent.
"The Minister reiterates that on the matter regarding General Ntlemeza's position at the DPCI him implementing the 17 March 2017 judgment that set aside his appointment. He maintains that as the Minister he has always been right on the interpretation of the Court Order," said Vuyo Mhaga, spokesman for the police ministry.
Ntlemeza had brought the matter to court in a bid to return to his post. Last month Mbalula sacked Ntlemeza after a court ruling found he was not a fit and proper person to lead the DPCI, also known as the Hawks, because he lacked integrity and had lied under oath.
"The effect of today's judgment and that of the 17th of March 2017 means that even if General Ntlemeza decides to appeal further, the order stands," said Mhaga. "The minister will study the judgment and comment fully at an appropriate stage."
Meanwhile, the South African Policing Union (Sapu) said it welcomed Judge Sheila Mphahlele's dismissal of Ntlemeza's application to interdict Mbalula from appointing an acting head of the Hawks.
"This progressive judgment comes as a relief to the many men and women of great integrity in the Hawks," said Sapu in a statement.
Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere said Sapu had always maintained that Ntlemeza's appointment was not only unlawful, but counterproductive.
"It is now time for the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation to concentrate on its primary mandate to fight serious crime and corruption. We are of the view that even on the 2nd June 2017 in the Supreme Court of Appeal Major-General Ntlemeza will not succeed," said Skommere.
"There is no way that he can come back to head the Hawks. We do not even consider him a part of the SAPS environment.
Sapu once again advises him to enjoy his retirement with grandchildren. He is wasting his hard earned pension on a fruitless legal challenge."
African News Agency