New acting head of Hawks Lieutenant-General Matakata Picture: Jonisayi W Maromo‏/ANA

Pretoria - The new acting Priority Crimes Investigation head is Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday announced that she will take over from now former controversial head of the Hawks, Major-General Berning Ntlemeza.

Mbalula, during a press briefing, said Matakata will act until further notice, but he hoped to appoint a permanent head by the end of this year.

Matakata was the Deputy National Head of DPCI and the former Western Cape Hawks boss.

Her appointment comes in the wake of last month’s high court in Pretoria ruling which confirmed that Ntlemeza’s appointment by former police minister Nathi Nhleko was irregular and unlawful.

Ntlemeza tried to cling to his post by asking the court on Wednesday for leave to appeal against its ruling. He wanted to appeal the matter before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

A full bench – three judges – turned down his application for leave to appeal and said there were no prospects of him succeeding at the SCA.

He suffered yet another blow when the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) secured an order that he had to vacate his office immediately, even if did petition the SCA directly for leave to appeal.

While still in office as minister, Nhleko indicated that he would appeal the ruling that Ntlemeza’s appointment was unlawful. Mbalula, however, when he took over, decided not to take the matter further.

He withdrew the application for leave to appeal on Wednesday.

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Pretoria News