Disgraced Hawks boss General Berning Ntlemeza has issued an ultimatum to Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. He is asking the minister stop interfering in this duties as head of Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DCPI) despite being relieved of his duties by the Pretoria High Court.
In so doing, Comfort Ngidi, Ntlemeza’s counsel’s ultimatum for the minister to stop the ïnteference” or be hauled before court relies on a section of the superior courts act that deals with court enforcement orders.
“You then have an automatic right of appeal, and as soon as you file for an appeal, which we have done in Bloemfontein, automatically suspended the decision of the High Court pending the appeal.”
Despite Mbalula reiterating during a press conference that Ntlemeza is no longer head of the Hawks and must return all state possessions, Ntlemeza insists he is still the boss.
The minister appointed an acting head of the unit, Yolisa Matakata, a week ago following a court ruling that the lieutenant-general was not fit to hold the post.
Ngidi said Ntlemeza would exercise his rights not to have Mbalula interfere in his duties.
“Failing which, we have been instructed to approach the appropriate court to enforce the rights of the employee.”
Ngidi said they would approach the court today if Mbalula failed to provide the undertaking.
Ngidi said his client had returned the car he was given by the Hawks. Because an appeal has been lodged, Ngidi said therefore Ntlemeza remained the lawful head of Hawks. It is for this reason that he remains in possession of iPad and a cellphone that belong to the state.
Mbalula said Ntlemeza was wrongfully sending a message to the public that there was lawlessness within the Hawks, and it would not be tolerated.
Mbalula has also warned General Kgomotso Phahlane, the acting police commissioner, that there would be grave consequences if he did not take necessary disciplinary steps against Ntlemeza.
“Whether they are friends or not, the law must be respected,” Mbalula said.