The High Court in Pretoria has reviewed and set aside the appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as the head of the Hawks.
The court found his appointment to be unlawful and invalid.
A full bench of judges has condemned Police Minister Nathi Nhleko for permanently appointing Ntlemeza, despite 2015 court findings that the Hawks boss was dishonest and lacked integrity.
Nhleko's spokesperson Sanele Ngidi says the police ministry is not embarrassed by the ruling.
Court judgments do not constitute something that should make one embarrassed. It just means the court has taken a decision based on certain views and considerations.— Sanele Ngidi, Spokesperson for the Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko
Ngidi claims that the police minister respects the judgment made by the courts, which he says is not sacrosanct.
The minister is studying the judgement and respects the decision of the court.— Sanele Ngidi, Spokesperson for the Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko
He said the court appeal system exists so that legal parties can engage with rulings and not take them at face value.
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Bittersweet for Helen Suzman Foundation
In December last year,Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation applied for Ntlemeza’s permanent appointment to be reviewed.
The civil society groups argued that the position of National Head of the Hawks required a person of integrity and honesty.
Freedom Under Law's Nicole Fritz says the organisation is pleased with the outcome, but expressed disappointment in the executive branch of government for failing to uphold Constitutional obligations.
Despite court findings, Ntlemeza was appointed. The minster clearly could not have applied his mind.— Nicole Fritz, Executive Director at Freedom Under Law
Freedom Under Law awaits to see if Ntlemeza will appeal the ruling.
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