Major-General Berning Ntlemeza will not be allowed back on Tuesday to lead the elite unit. Picture: Ian Landsberg
Durban – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has made it clear that former Hawks boss Major-General Berning Ntlemeza will not be allowed back on Tuesday to lead the elite unit.

Mbalula was speaking to the media on Sunday during a visit to Soshanguve police station, where he expressed condolences to colleagues of slain Sergeant Philemon Sibiya.

He was reacting to a media statement by Ntlemeza that he would report for duty on Tuesday, despite the recent high court judgment preventing him from doing so.

Mbalula said: “He must just vacate in peace. He doesn’t need the drama. He is an old man. He must go home and relax and look after his children. We are not in the Bold and the Beautiful here.”

Ntlemeza didn’t have to write to him if he had problems with the court judgment, the minister said.

“I am not the court. He doesn’t have to write to me his lawyers must write to the courts. If they are well educated and not illiterate in terms of the law, they will understand that they don’t have to write to me.

“I am implementing the court decision,” Mbalula said.

Commenting on Ntlemeza’s statement that he would be coming to the office, he said: “It is fine. We will see him there, but the law will be executed. We don’t need drama.

“We have work to do. I am not going to be entertaining what General Ntlemeza says in the media.”

Ntlemeza was on holiday in the Eastern Cape over Easter, but vowed to be back on Tuesday, taking his seat as Hawks boss.

“He must finish his holiday and come back to hand over what belongs to the police.” Mbalula appealed to Ntlemeza to respect the rule of law because South Africa was not “a banana republic”.

“Ntlemeza must know his place. He must respect the law and he must not act illiterate when it comes to the law,” he added.

Mbalula also blasted critics who questioned the use of police security for former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, saying the issue was being used for political reasons.

Dlamini Zuma was being guarded because her life was being threatened, Mbalula said. “I have received a report that says there are issues in terms of threat analysis around her”

Mbalula dispelled the assertion that Dlamini Zuma should not receive police protection because she was not a member of Parliament.

“She doesn’t have to be a member of Parliament. If she is a person of stature and the threat analysis tells us that (then police protection will be accorded to her).”

Police had in the past accorded protection services to other high-profile figures, such as former Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi, SACP leader Blade Nzimande and EFF leader Julius Malema, he said.

“We have done that with Julius Malema. We gave him counter-assault (and) he was not a member of Parliament. If there is a threat on his life that can lead to destabilisation of the country we do that.

“If there is a threat on (DA leader) Mmusi Maimane we will guard him. If there is a threat on (Cope leader) Terror Lekota we will guard him,” Mbalula pointed out.

The Mercury