Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced Deputy Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata as the new acting head of the Hawks during the briefing on his decision to withdraw the application to appeal the High Court’s ruling on Berning Ntlemeza’s appointment as the boss of the priority crimes unit.
Former Hawks head Major-General Berning Ntlemeza can petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein if he really wants his job back.
It would be his final legal bid to hold on to the post of top cop in the elite police unit.
On Wednesday afternoon, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed his application for leave to appeal the setting aside of his appointment and ordered him to vacate his office with immediate effect.
Speaking after the ruling, attorney Pooja Dela, representing the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and Freedom under Law (FuL), who brought the application challenging Ntlemeza’s appointment, welcomed the victory.
“Our client’s rights have been vindicated entirely, this is a resounding victory for constitutional democracy,” she said.
A full bench heard Ntlemeza’s appeal which challenged a March court ruling that he was unfit to hold office.