Police minister insists Ntlemeza's time is up

Police minister insists Ntlemeza's time is up

"He must just vacate in peace man, he doesn't need the drama... we are not in the Bold and the Beautiful here."

Berning Ntlemeza_youtube
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That was the reaction by Police minister Fikile Mbalula to reports that Berning Ntlemeza is refusing to vacate his office.


The former Hawks head was ordered to leave his post immediately by the High Court in Pretoria, which also dismissed Ntlemeza's application to appeal a previous ruling against him.


A full bench of judges of the same court earlier found Ntlemeza's appointment as Hawks head to be unlawful, and ordered it be set aside.


In reaction to the court's order, Mbalula this week appointed Yolisa Matakata as the acting Hawks head.

But City Press reports that Ntlemeza insists he is going nowhere.


Mbalula withdrew an application for appeal by his predecessor at the Supreme Court of Appeal, but Ntlemeza plans to lodge his own.


Ntlemeza reportedly believes only Parliament has the powers to remove him and intends to stay at the helm of the elite crime fighting unit until his contract expires in 2022.


But Mbalula is encouraging the 61-year-old to go home and take care of his children, saying the rule of law should be respected.


"I think the law will be implemented to the letter," says Mbalula, adding, "we are not a banana republic, we are a state, and the state must be respected.


"General Ntlemeza must know his place and he must respect the law."


The newly-appointed police minister stresses South Africa has serious crimes to fight and policing units such as the Hawks should focus its resources on tackling crime and not succession battles.


Ntlemeza is expected to be in his office on Tuesday, to which Mbalula replied: "We'll see him there."

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