Disgraced former Hawks head Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza has returned the state vehicle he illegally booked out on Monday morning when he illegally reported for work at the Hawks headquarters in Silverton, Pretoria.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “While the Minister [of Police Fikile Mbalula] was busy with his press briefing, General Ntlemeza brought the vehicle back.”
Mulaudzi said Ntlemeza did not hand in his phone, because it is not expected of him to do it now.
“He keeps his phone, iPad, laptop and firearm and bulletproof vest for as long as he is still in the police force.
“That is a standard in the police service,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Mbalula told a press briefing Ntlemeza had shown him the middle finger, told him that he was useless, barged into a management meeting at the Hawks’ offices and demanded a state vehicle before leaving the premises again.
Mbalula warned that a warrant of arrest would be issued if Ntlemeza did not return the state vehicle and cellphone.
“[Ntlemeza] ordered the head of the supply chain to give him a car in which he is roaming around in the streets of Pretoria, or wherever he is this afternoon.
“He has a cellphone of government and the state in his possession and whatever he has got,” Mbalula said.
He accused Ntlemeza of playing politics. “To come here and issue instructions to the staff is illegal. And the fact that anybody could be doing that is political,” the minister said.
Ntlemeza reported for duty on Monday morning, despite a high court ruling that his appointment was invalid and irregular and, therefore, had been set aside.
But his legal representative, Comfort Ngidi, claimed his client was not acting outside the law. He said they had filed documents with the Supreme Court of Appeal, technically setting aside the high court judgment.
Mbalula said there were no papers filed with the Supreme Court of Appeal.
He said he explained, in no uncertain terms to acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane the implications of him failing to act on Ntlemeza.
“Whether they are friends or not, the law must be enforced. [Ntlemeza] has no right to enter and instruct anybody to take orders from him in as far as the Hawks are concerned. I communicated with General Phahlane that all of that must now be repossessed. It must be found and brought back to the state and all shall be in order. Should anybody enter this premises in whatever guise, it is illegal and that person must be arrested with immediate effect,” Mbalula warned.
He said Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride did not say “this is my job and I’m going to come back” and he did not mobilise society over the Easter Weekend and come to work.
“Did McBride go to pastor [Paseka] Mboro? He went to court and fought and was then brought back by the law and that is what General Ntlemeza must do, and not come to work illegally.
“He is defying a court order. Go and get better legal advice than me.”
Mbalula said his appointment of Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata as acting Hawks head stands.