Ntle­meza: I’m go­ing to work to­mor­row

CityPress - - News - POLOKO TAU poloko.tau@city­press.co.za

Dis­missed Hawks boss Mthandazo Ntle­meza has vowed to re­port for duty to­mor­row to claim back the job Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula has ejected him from, and will go to court should any­one stand in his way. This week, Ntle­meza’s lawyers wrote to the Of­fice of the State At­tor­ney re­it­er­at­ing their client’s po­si­tion that he would re­sume his du­ties to­mor­row. “We urge your good selves to ad­vise [Mbalula] to al­low [Ntle­meza] to re­sume du­ties as [head of the Hawks]. Our client re­serves his right to ap­proach a court for ap­pro­pri­ate re­lief should he be ob­structed from get­ting on to the premises and per­form­ing his of­fi­cial du­ties,” wrote Ntle­meza’s lawyer, Com­fort Ngidi. Ngidi’s let­ter was a re­sponse to a let­ter from the State At­tor­ney, act­ing for Mbalula, in which the min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion for fir­ing Ntle­meza was em­pha­sised and Ntle­meza was told to stay away. Ntle­meza’s lawyers ar­gue that he had the le­gal right to re­main in of­fice pend­ing an ap­peal of the judg­ment setting aside their client’s ap­point­ment as un­law­ful. The lawyers on Fri­day submitted Ntle­meza’s ap­pli­ca­tion for leave to ap­peal to the Supreme Court of Ap­peal (SCA). At­tached to the ap­pli­ca­tion is a 69-page af­fi­davit by Ntle­meza through which he hopes the court will find enough rea­sons to grant him leave to ap­peal last month’s judg­ment setting aside his ap­point­ment, which led to his ax­ing two weeks ago. Ntle­meza ex­plains in his af­fi­davit that his woes em­anate from a le­gal wran­gle with for­mer Gaut­eng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya, whom he had sus­pended be­fore he was per­ma­nently ap­pointed. Sibiya suc­cess­fully chal­lenged his sus­pen­sion. The court found Ntle­meza had lied un­der oath and was “dis­hon­est”, but there­after, for­mer po­lice min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko per­ma­nently ap­pointed him as head of the Hawks, prompt­ing the He­len Suz­man Foun­da­tion and Free­dom Un­der Law to ap­proach the courts seek­ing his re­moval from of­fice.

In his af­fi­davit, Ntle­meza says he made his in­ter­view panel aware of the court judg­ments, and that the court “did not state in what re­spect the de­ci­sion by the min­is­ter could have been dif­fer­ent if the judg­ments were placed be­fore the in­ter­view panel”.

Ntle­meza’s last hope is for the SCA to grant him leave to ap­peal the judge­ment that set his ap­point­ment aside, and if he wins, he could use this to re­verse Mbalula’s de­ci­sion to fire him.

Ntle­meza ends his af­fi­davit with what reads like a des­per­ate per­sonal ap­peal.

“My ca­reer as a po­lice­man is in the hands of this hon­ourable court. I have served my coun­try faith­fully, pa­tri­ot­i­cally and with distinction for a pe­riod of more than 35 years. The de­ci­sion of the court has been a dev­as­tat­ing blow, not only to me and my fam­ily, but also the coun­try as a whole,” Ntle­meza writes.

“I now find my­self in­ad­e­quated with low self-es­teem and per­pet­ual blem­ish.”

He added that the “rep­u­ta­tion I have built over the years with­out a blem­ish has now been shat­tered”.

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Mthandazo Ntle­meza

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