The gospel according to Berning Ntlemeza
Major-General Berning Ntlemeza makes his first public appearance since the High Court in Pretoria declared his appointment as head of the hawks invalid, at the Incredible Happenings Church in Katlehong
Major-General Berning Ntlemeza has been preaching the gospel of community involvement to improve policing and halt police killings‚ but the embattled Hawks head has steered clear of talking about his own troubles.
On Sunday Ntlemeza made his first public appearance since the High Court in Pretoria declared his appointment as head of the hawks invalid, at the Incredible Happenings Church in Katlehong‚ where he urged communities to continue praying for the police.
Ntlemeza thanked Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng‚ better known as Pastor Mboro‚ for his work in making communities safer.
"The killing of police is going to stop... because I can see churches in South Africa are praying for the police‚ and they must keep it up‚" Ntlemeza said.
Ntlemeza steered clear of the court’s findings about his controversial appointment‚ instead urging people to visit him at his office with information about criminals.
"I’m not expecting to see you guys at my work in Silverton‚ unless you come and give us information. Actually‚ I’m inviting you to come with information‚" Ntlemeza said on Sunday.
"Our coming here is part of a campaign to talk to the believers. Unlike criminals‚ you love our message and we also love talking to you‚" he said.
He dismissed people speculating about his visit to the church.
"I know that some people have been speculating about our visit here today. They have been using the figment of their imagination to tell lies about us. But we are unshaken‚" he said.
"The people of this country want justice‚ and as I stand here‚ I am part of the people‚" Ntlemeza said.
Prophet Mboro described Ntlemeza as "unbreakable" because he was a man of faith. "I’m saying to you‚ my general‚ you are unbreakable‚ you are indisputable‚ you are uncorruptable‚ you are unmoveable‚" he said. "Even if a court says it is over‚ God can resurrect you to a higher role‚" he said. "You will reach your destination. It is not over. It is just beginning... God’s will is for the best. What you have done you will continue doing‚ changing people’s lives."
Mboro assured Ntlemeza that God will look after him and he won’t "be poor" as a result of the court’s decision to declare his appointment invalid. "General‚ the country believes in you‚ the people believe in you‚ Mboro believes in you‚" he said on Sunday morning. "I appreciate that in spite of the storm‚ you still say I’m coming to pray... while going through this crisis‚" Mboro said.
Ntlemeza sat on a couch on stage while Mboro praised him for his good work as head of the Hawks and the fight against crime. "We have realised your number one passion and pride is to reduce crime‚" Mboro said.
Following Ntlemeza’s sermon‚ Motsoeneng took an opportunity to pray for journalists‚ some of whom are "in debt" or don’t have cars.
In March 2015 High Court Judge Elias Matojane ruled that Ntlemeza "lacks integrity and honour" and had made false statements under oath. He was acting Hawks head at the time.