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Parliament’s watchdog on police wants answers after Ntlemeza court judgment

PARLIAMENT, March 17  – Parliament’s watchdog committee on police on Friday said it would summon Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to a special meeting of the committee in April after a high court ruling setting aside the appointment of Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza.

“We will obviously study the judgement, but have in the meantime resolved to ensure that we today apply for a special portfolio committee meeting, which will be held during the recess period on Friday, 7 April 2017, to discuss the matter in detail,” said Francois Beukman, chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police.

Ntlemeza was appointed as head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in September 2015, just months after Judge Elias Matojane of the high court in Pretoria ruled that Ntlemeza “lacks integrity and honour” and had made false statements under oath. He was acting Hawks head at the time.

Last year it also emerged that Nhleko had subverted the law by not informing Parliament timeously of Ntlemeza’s appointment.

Beukman said Nhleko needed to deal with Friday’s court judgement as a matter of priority as the DPCI was integral in the fight against organised crime which “affects the lives of all South Africans”.

“It is critical that the matter is addressed as a matter of priority, as we cannot allow a vacuum in the leadership of the DPCI.”

In its judgment, the high court in Pretoria agreed with the applicants, the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law, that the appointment of Ntlemeza, whom a judge had previously found to be dishonest when he lied under oath, was “irrational and unlawful”.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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