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I'm back at work today, Ntlemeza insists

Politics
Cape Town - Former Hawks boss Lieutent-General Berning Ntlemeza has remained defiant, saying he will be back in his office on Monday.

Ntlemeza’s lawyer Comfort Ngidi said on Sunday his client would be at his desk on Monday morning.

This followed their filing papers in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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Former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza could cause a stir if he arrives at work today. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Ngidi said there was nothing in law that prevented Ntlemeza from returning to work after his holiday in the Eastern Cape.

“Our client is going to work tomorrow (Monday) because the matter is the subject of appeal,” said Ngidi.

Spokespeson for the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, referred enquiries to the Police Minister’s office.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula’s spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said they did not want to speculate what Ntlemeza will do or not do.

He said they were guided by the decision of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, which axed Ntlemeza from his job.

“It was not our decision that Ntlemeza is not the head of the Hawks, and it is not out of malice; it was the decision of the court,” said Mhaga.

He said their job was to implement the decision of the court unless there was a different court decision.

They will stick to what the High Court has ruled and would not be backing down on that.

Ntlemeza threatened to return to his job last week, but later said he was still on holiday in the Eastern Cape and would be back today.

Mhaga also said at the time there was a new head of the Hawks, Yolisa Matakata, and she will continue acting in the position.

Mbalula had also indicated after he appointed Matakata that he wanted to appoint a permanent head of the Hawks before the end of the year. This is the position that was also communicated by the portfolio committee on police.

The two courts found that Ntlemeza’s appointment was illegal and unlawful and must be set aside.

He was also refused an appeal in the matter and turned to the SCA last week.

Ngidi confirmed that they have filed the papers in the SCA and would await the date for the hearing.

Ntlemeza has created a stand-off with Mbalulala over his refusal to quit his job despite the minister ordering him to respect the decision of the court.

Ntlemeza was appointed to the position in October 2015 after he acted in that capacity following the departure of Anwa Dramat.

However, his appointment was challenged by civil society leading to his axing two weeks ago.

Political Bureau

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