Captured Crime Intelligence appointment highlights need for National Policing Board

The DA will call for Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) by urgently convening a National Policing Board to review all police senior management. He also needs to urgently facilitate the selection process for the appointment of a permanent National Police Commissioner through this mechanism.
Such a board is imperative following the latest questionable appointment, that of Zuma loyalist, Major General King Bhoyi Ngcobo, as the Acting Head of Crime Intelligence late yesterday. This is a puzzling appointment given the previous announcement that Acting Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. would directly oversee the Crime Intelligence Division, which was also confirmed at the Police Portfolio Committee yesterday.
It is shocking that a former Head of VIP Protection Services who is a close Zuma confidant and someone under a cloud of allegations of submitting a fake matric certificate to the South African Police Service (SAPS) has been entrusted with the leadership of our country’s Crime Intelligence division.
We condemn Ngcobo’s appointment in the strongest terms. For one of Zuma’s most trusted bodyguards to be elevated to lead South African Crime Intelligence shows just how far Zuma’s web of state capture continues to spread.
This highly suspect appointment follows a string of dodgy senior appointments in Mbalula’s department:
• Previous Crime Intelligence Head, Pat Mokushane, did not have security clearance and was doing business with the state;
• A court ruled that Former Acting Hawks Head, Berning Ntlemeza, is “dishonest” and “lacking integrity” before he was even appointed, and that his appointment process was flawed; and
• Israel Kgamanyane, who was Acting Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Head while Robert McBride was on suspension and led a purge of senior IPID staff, was transferred after McBride’s return to the Hawks in a possibly irregular process and now heads up the Special Investigations Department at the Hawks Headquarters.
The NDP proposal recommends specifically that, “A national policing board should be established, with multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary expertise. It should set standards for recruiting, selecting, appointing and promoting police officials and police officers. The board should also develop a code of ethics and analyse the professional standing of policing, based on international norms and standards.”
The DA will not stand by while questionable and often incompetent appointments continue to seriously compromise the senior police management in our country, from the Hawks to the IPID and now to Crime Intelligence. Fit-for-purpose and ethical police leadership is the very least that the people of South Africa deserve going forward.
Mbalula needs to ensure this by implementing the NDP proposal and facilitating the National Police Commissioner selection process urgently. He simply cannot drag his feet any longer waiting for the SAPS Transformation Task Team under the Deputy Minister’s office to finish its processes.

Mbalula has the power to bar Ntlemeza from entering the Hawks HQ on Monday

The DA will write to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, urging him to exercise the power that he has in terms of section 17DA of the South African Police Services (SAPS) Act to suspend former Hawks head, Berning Ntlemeza, from the SAPS.
This suspension is imperative if Ntlemeza goes ahead and lodges an appeal against the High Court order that determined the setting aside of his appointment with immediate effect.
When Mbalula fired Ntlemeza last week as Head of the Hawks, he was simply enacting the North Gauteng High Court order. If Ntlemeza’s appeal has the effect of suspending that order, then Mbalula need not sit idly by. In terms of the SAPS Act, Ntlemeza can still be removed by Mbalula through a suspension from the SAPS.
Mbalula can provisionally suspend Ntlemeza pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office in terms of section 17DA(2) of the SAPS Act.
Therefore, Mbalula has the power to keep Ntlemeza away from the Hawks regardless of the fact that he is appealing.
Having been previously found by the North Gauteng High Court to have acted in bad faith, that he was dishonest and acted without integrity, the DA have long held that Ntlemeza is not beyond reproach and cannot be given the huge responsibility to lead our country’s crime fighting unit.
The Hawks requires stability amongst its senior leadership which Ntlemeza is a threat to. Mbalula should accordingly not allow Ntlemeza to enter the Hawks building on Monday.

Ntlemeza’s time is up as High Court ruling stands despite appeal

It is high time that Berning Ntlemeza accepts that he is no longer the head of South Africa’s crime busting unit, the Hawks.
Last week, the North Gauteng High Court set aside Ntlemeza’s appointment as head of the Hawks with immediate effect. This judgement stands, regardless of Ntlemeza’s intention to take the decision on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Indeed, the attorney for the Helen Suzman Foundation has stated that “Should he wish to petition the SCA [Supreme Court of Appeal] for further appeal process, they may do so but the effect of the enforcement order is that pending those appeal processes, Ntlemeza is not allowed to go back to office.”
Moreover, Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has removed Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks and has already replaced him with the previous deputy head of the Hawks, Yolisa Matakata, until a permanent replacement can be found.
Ntlemeza should put the needs of South Africans first by allowing the Hawks to perform their role and investigate the many cases that were not looked into during his term in office.
Two previous North Gauteng High Court judgements found that Ntlemeza had failed to act in good faith and that he was dishonest and acted without integrity.
The DA has long held that Ntlemeza is not fit to hold office and cannot be trusted with leading South Africa’s crime-fighting division.
The uncertainty that results from his continued refusal to accept that he has been removed only serves to disrupt the effective functioning of the Hawks, which we cannot allow given the unacceptably high level of crime in our country.
The DA will not stand by while Ntlemeza further destabilises the Hawks and we will not hesitate to lay charges of defeating the ends of justice should he try return to his former office next week.

DA to get clarity on whether Ntlemeza continues to receive benefits

Following reports that former head of the Hawks, Berning Ntlemeza, apparently believes he is on leave and intends to return to work next week Monday, despite being removed from office, the DA will submit parliamentary questions to ascertain what benefits, if any, he received, or is to receive, from 12 April 2017 onwards.
Moreover, if Ntlemeza returns to his former office, he would be wilfully interfering with the smooth running of this most vital policing department, endangering the lives, property and livelihoods of millions of South Africans suffering high crime rates in our country.
Should Ntlemeza attempt to interfere with the running of the Hawks, the DA will not hesitate to lay charges against him for defeating the ends of justice.
Last week, the North Gauteng High Court denied Ntlemeza’s leave to appeal its previous judgement to set aside his appointment as irrational and further ordered that the judgement should have immediate effect.
This means that as of 12 April 2017, Ntlemeza is no longer the head of the Hawks nor is he employed by the SAPS.
As such, he is not entitled to leave – paid or otherwise – or any other benefits, and should not be allowed to access his old office at any point going forward.
Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, should not tolerate this behaviour and must make sure that Ntlemeza is not allowed access to the Hawks building.
It is up to Mbalula to ensure that the business of the Hawks is protected against any further disruption from Ntlemeza.

Berning Ntlemeza must vacate position immediately

The DA welcomes the decision today by the North Gauteng High Court to deny Hawks Head Berning Ntlemeza leave to appeal, and to order that the judgment setting aside Ntlemeza’s appointment should have immediate effect.
We have long called for his removal from the position of National Hawks Head on account of his unsuitability to hold this office and procedurally flawed appointment.
Berning Ntlemeza must respect this court ruling, and vacate his office immediately.
While we also welcome the decision by new Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to withdraw the departments’ appeal, the fact is that Ntlemeza has served his political purpose, which the DA believes was to target the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
This politicisation of the Hawks, which has been facilitated by the ANC, and the previous ministers of the portfolio, cannot be allowed to continue.
The new Minister must now publicly commit to ensuring that the Hawks will be an independent organised crime-fighting unit, with the new head being a person of integrity, who will always put the best interests of South Africa first. We urge him to take speedy action to expedite Ntlemeza’s removal from office and his replacement by a fit-for-purpose individual who can restore confidence in, and integrity to, the Hawks leadership.
The time for Zuma lackeys being placed in positions of power must come to an end.
South Africans deserve crime-fighting leadership that will not be bogged down by political games and it is now up to Mbalula to show he will take his new responsibility seriously.

Ntlemeza ruling should see Nhleko removed

The DA welcomes Judge Peter Mabusa’s ruling that Berning Ntlemeza’s appointment as Head of the Hawks be set aside, as his appointment was unlawful.
The application brought before the North Gauteng High Court by Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation, relied on an earlier High Court ruling in which Ntlemeza was found to be dishonest and lacking in integrity.
The DA has long held that Ntlemeza was unfit to hold this position and that his appointment was irregular and unlawful. Furthermore we believe he should be removed on grounds of incompetence due to his role in the Hawks witch-hunt investigation against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
The ruling today is a reflection on the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko’s, failure to ensure a rational appointment process. The time has come for the President to fire Nhleko, as he is clearly incapable of carrying out the mandate of his office.
South Africans deserve to trust that the police services have competent leadership and are working to ensure our people feel and are safe. Until such time that the leadership of the police services are above reproach, South Africans cannot fully trust that.
The DA will continue to fight to ensure that those who are tasked with fighting corruption are fit-for-purpose.