Hawks boss Major-General Berning Ntlemeza File picture: Supplied
Johannesburg – New Police Minister Fikile Mbalula will on Wednesday morning reveal the fate of disgraced head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) General Berning Ntlemeza whose appointment has been nullified by the High Court in Pretoria.

The police department said Mbalula "will bring into confidence South Africans" on his decision to withdraw the appeal lodged at the Supreme Court of Appeals on the case brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law (FUL) involving Ntlemeza.

On Wednesday the court ruled that its earlier finding that Ntlemeza was not a fit and proper person to lead the Hawks should come into immediate effect even though he has appealed the ruling. Mbalula, who was recently appointed police minister, on Wednesday also withdraw the appeal lodged at the Supreme Court of Appeal against the finding that Ntlemeza's appointment was "irrational and unlawful".

Ntlemeza was appointed permanently to the position by former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko in September 2015, despite Judge Elias Matojane having found that the General “lacks integrity and honour” and had lied under oath.

Subsequently, the FUL and Helen Suzman Foundation brought arguments before the court saying Ntlemeza was not fit and proper to hold office – the court agreed with them.

Last month the court ruled that Ntlemeza lacks the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to occupy any public office, and declared his appointment invalid and unlawful. The then police minister appealed the ruling.

On Wednesday the court said its findings must be acted on immediately – meaning Ntlemeza ceased to be head of the Hawks.

Mbalula has already informed Ntlemeza of this decision and asked for his observance In a related development the Portfolio Committee on Police said it was of vital importance that the appointment of the head of DPCI/Hawks is processed in line with the Constitutional requirements.

The Committee further called on ordinary members of the Hawks not to be demotivated by these developments, but to continue with their important task of fighting organised crime, and leave the appointment processes of the new head to those who are tasked with that responsibility.