Pretoria – Axed Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza will have to wait until Thursday to hear whether he can return to his office, pending the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The appeal before the SCA is due to be heard on June 2. But Ntlemeza wants the high court in Pretoria to allow him to immediately return to his office pending the outcome of his appeal.
Three judges confirmed an earlier finding that Ntlemeza lacked the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to occupy the position as national head of the Hawks.
They at the time set aside Police Minister’s Nathi Nhleko’s decision to appoint Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks. The result was that Ntlemeza had to immediately vacate his office.
Ntlemeza indicated that he would approach the SCA to appeal this finding. The Helen Suzman Foundation, however, obtained an order preventing Ntlemeza from returning to his office, irrespective of the pending appeal.
SAPS Minister Fikile Mbalula during a public display refused Ntlemeza permission to return to his office.
But Ntlemeza was back in court on Wednesday, as he said it was his right to return to his office, until another court had spoken the last word on the matter.
He also wanted the court to order that his official cellphone be handed back to him, as well as his official vehicle.
Advocate Nazeer Cassim, on behalf of Mbalula, said “the minister is not an unreasonable man. If he wants his cellphone back, we can talk about that.”
But he said Ntlemeza was found to be unfit to head the Hawks and it was not in the interest of the public to allow him back. “He can be lucky he is suspended with full pay,” Cassim said.
Counsel for Ntlemeza said it was not only humiliating for him to be treated in this manner, but it was also unlawful.
Judge Sheila Mphahlele indicated that she will rule on the matter at 10am on Thursday.