Pretoria - Former Hawks boss Major-General Berning Ntlemeza's lawyers argued in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday that his application to interdict Police Minister Fikile Mbalula was urgent, as the minister's actions were illegal.
Advocate Nceba Duduka argued that the interdict sought to stop Mbalula acting illegally, thus allowing Ntlemeza to return to his duties as Hawks boss.
This came despite the fact that the Supreme Court of Appeal would be hearing the enforcement order against Ntlemeza on June 2.
Duduka conceded that the enforcement order would stand if there was no appeal, but seeing as there was an appeal, the enforcement order should be set aside until the appeal was heard and judgment handed down.
Nazeer Cassim, for Mbalula, argued that a full bench had found that Ntlemeza was not fit to hold office, that this application was not urgent, and was tantamount to scoring political points.
He argued further that Ntlemeza had been suspended with full pay, pending the appeal, and that, in the matter of public interest, the application before the court should fail.
Judge Shiela Mphahlele told Duduka that he needed to convince her that the application was urgent, seeing as the appeal would be heard in front of the SCA in two weeks’ time.
Duduka argued that every day that Ntlemeza did not report for duty was another day that he was prejudiced and humiliated.
In March, the court found that then police minister Nathi Nhleko had ignored two court judgments, which found that Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty when he appointed him head of the elite police unit.
The court found that the findings in both judgments constituted “direct evidence” that Ntlemeza lacked the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to hold public office.
Ntlemeza applied for leave to appeal these findings, but was unsuccessful. However, he was granted leave to appeal an enforcement order which stopped him from going to work.
Judge Mphahlele reserved judgment in the application, which she is set to hand down on Thursday. DM
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