Fired Hawks head Major-General Berning Ntlemeza Picture: Independent Media

Pretoria – Ousted Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza lost his urgent court bid to return to office.

The high court in Pretoria found that his application was not urgent and struck the matter from the roll on Thursday.

Judge Sheila Mphahlele found that Ntlemeza will not be prejudiced if he was not allowed to immediately resume his duties as head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). She said he is suspended with full pay and benefits.

According to the judge it was not in the interest of justice to order that he return to his office. She said the interest of justice weighed heavier than his interests.

The judge further pointed out that the SCA will in any event in two weeks time – on June 2 – hear Ntlemeza’s appeal application against his removal from office.

The judge said a full bench – three judges – found that he was not a competent person to head the DPCI and added that she, sitting as a single judge, was not competent to overrule a full bench.

Ntlemeza last month tried to appeal the judgement in which it was found that he should have never been appointed as head of the Hawks in the first place. Three judges subsequently turned down his application for leave to appeal.

Ntlemeza then turned to the SCA in a desperate bid to cling to his job.

In another blow to Ntlemeza, the court last month ordered that its order removing him from office, remained in place until a court has on appeal spoken the last word on the issue.

But Ntlemeza this week said this enforcement order fell away, as he was going to appeal against this in two weeks time. According to him any appeal against an order automatically suspended that order pending the outcome of appeal proceedings.

Judge Mphahlele, however, did not agree with him, as the enforcement order was in place in this case.

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