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Minister Fikile Mbalula Address the Nation pertaining the Current Situation within the Hawks Leadership

Good Day ladies and gentlemen of the media. On the 13th of April 2017, I addressed the nation regarding the leadership status of the Hawks. This decision was precipitated by the court order, that set the appointment of Gen Ntlemeza aside.

I am mindful of the fact that there has been some media confusion reported about the leadership status of the Hawks. It is my statutory responsibility to bring the nation into confidence in so far as the Hawks leadership is concerned. In the interest of clarity to the nation, I owe it to my responsibility to take you through the processes subsequent to the court order of the 17th March 2017.

On the 12th of April 2017, the court made two orders as follows,

The first order

Reads as thus “It is ordered that the application for leave to appeal is dismissed with cost.”

The Second order

Reads as thus “It is ordered that,

1. The application is granted.
2. The operation and execution of the order granted by this court under case number 23199/16 on 17 March 2017 is not suspended and will continue to be operational and executed in full whether or not there are any applications for leave to appeal and appeals or there is any petition for leave to appeal in respect of this order.
3. The respondent in the counter application is hereby ordered to pay the costs of the counter application.”

In line with this full court decision declaring that the appointment of Lt-General Berning Ntlemeza as the head of DPCI, commonly referred to as the Hawks was unlawful, unconstitutional and therefore set aside, I had then in respecting the court decisions immediately acted upon by notifying Lt-Gen Ntlemeza of my decision with reasons being that of the court order. In addition I had also appointed an acting Head of DPCI by invoking the provisions of Section 17CA (12)(c) of the South African Police Service Act,1995(Act No.68 0f 1995) which provides as thus:

“Whenever the office of the National Head of the DPCI is vacant, or the National Head of the DPCI is for any reason unable to take up the appointment contemplated is subsection(1), the Minister shall appoint the Deputy National Head of the DPCI the acting National Head of the DPCI.”

I want the nation to understand the implications of both orders of the 12th of April 2017 to mean that, the court had accepted the Minister’s withdrawal of the application for leave to appeal. Gen Ntlemeza proceeded with his application for leave to appeal and this was dismissed with costs. The counter application of HSF (Hellen Suzman Foundation) that the order of 17 March 2017 be operational & enforceable was granted & the costs for the counter application must be paid by Gen Ntlemeza. This means that we must give effect to the order of 17 March 2017 that set aside Gen Ntlemeza’s appointment. The effect is that even if Gen Ntlemeza decides to appeal further, the order of 17 March 2017 stands and is not suspended.

It is noteworthy to inform you that there has been an exchange of communication between the representatives of Lt-Gen Ntlemeza and the Ministry through the State Attorney where the decision of the full court was re-iterated to Lt-Gen Ntlemeza through his legal representatives. In the premise they were also informed that in the event that their client is still not satisfied with the pronouncement made by the various courts, they should ventilate whatever matters they are dissatisfied with through available legal recourse, since I am not in a position to address the same. Further directing their dissatisfaction with me will not yield results as I had acted within the principles of functus officio and within the directives of the court. Only the appropriate court could attend to their dissatisfaction.

I want to point out further that in the current circumstances of this matter, my understanding is that the full Court of the 12th April 2017 went further than merely granting an enforcement order and specifically ordered that the enforcement order it granted was to remain in effect notwithstanding any petition to the SCA or the Constitutional Court. Therefore, the court order of the 12th April 2017 stands until it is set aside. By law I am accordingly obliged to respect and uphold the contents of the Court order of the 12th April 2017 and to regard Lt-Gen Ntlemeza’s contract as invalid notwithstanding his possible and supposedly pending petition to the SCA.

Therefore, the nation has to understand that we are not in a fight with anybody but merely upholding court decisions. It therefore follows that Lt-Gen Ntlemeza is not entitled to report for duty or to exercise any powers or duties afforded to the Head of DPCI until and unless the SCA reverses the full Court’s order. His attempt to enter the DPCI premises is considered unlawful and will be acted upon.

Lieutenant General Matakata will remain in her acting role as the acting head of the DPCI.
Lastly, we expect the Hawks to continue to combat, investigate and prevent serious organised crimes, serious commercial crimes and serious corruption committed both in public as well as private sector.

I Thank You

Mr Vuyo Mhaga
Spokesperson for Police Ministry
Tel No: 0766365193

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