Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has ordered that former Hawks boss General Berning Ntlemeza be placed on retirement after Ntlemeza lost an umpteenth attempt to fight his axing.

In the latest round of the legal battle‚ the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Ntlemeza's bid to challenge his removal from his position.

A statement from Mbalula's office issued on Tuesday said the Supreme Court of Appeal had on September 15 concluded that Ntlemeza's appointment as the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is nullified and has since been declared unlawful.

The court dismissed with costs Ntlemeza's application for condonation to the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ saying there was "no reasonable prospects of success on appeal and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard‚" Mbalula said.

"The implications of the court order are that: 
1. The petition against the order of 17 March 2017 that set aside General Ntlemeza’s appointment as National Head: DPCI has been dismissed.
2. His employment contract has also been set aside and should be treated as if it never obtained."

In his statement‚ Mbalula said he was guided by the South African Police Act‚ which sets the retirement age at 60.

He said Ntlemeza was reaching retirement anyway and wished him well in his future.

"With this decision of the SCA‚ I am directing SAPS to commence processing General Ntlemeza's retirement with immediate effect as if he had retired at the age of 60 but at a level of Major-General and not as a Lieutenant General he was promoted to upon his now defunct appointment‚" Mbalula said.

Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata will remain the acting head of the DPCI while a permanent replacement is found.

"I hope the finality of this matter will bring an end to any factionalism within the ranks of the police and I remind our members that Major-General Ntlemeza is henceforth on the outside‚ I demand that our members must do their work professionally and disabuse the notion of being 'so-and-so people' or in rogue cabals. I expect results in all the priorities I have set for DPCI‚" Mbalula said.


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