The legal team of the Helen Suzman Foundation has argued that if Hawks head Ntlemeza retains his current position in the crime fighting unit, it could lead to serious damage to the unit.
The argument was heard in the Pretoria High Court yesterday following the application by the foundation to set aside the decision to appoint Ntlemeza.
Judgement was served the case based on some findings last year that the Hawks boss lied under oath and lacked integrity.
Francis Antonie of the Helen Suzman Foundation says Hawks head Ntlemeza is not a fit and proper candidate to lead a unit such as the Hawks being a man who lacks integrity.
“The judge has already ruled once or twice, so clearly this man is unfit for public office. He lies under oath. What sort of people lie under oath? We don’t want him in public office.”
In Ntlemeza’s defence, advocate Pule Seleka referred the court to evidence which showed that since his appointment, Hawks head Ntlemeza has taken the Hawks to greater heights and also filled hundreds of vacant posts.
He described the matter as not urgent saying that the application should have been brought in March last year when the court made the adverse findings against his client.
Also, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s legal team described the adverse court findings against Ntlemeza as ‘judicial excess’, while advocate William Mokhari advised judges to be mindful when making such critical findings against people because they are binding and also impact on their dignity for a long time.
Nhleko insisted that Judge Elias Matojane’s findings against the Hawks head was borne out of his anger on Ntlemeza’s allegations that the judge had met with the opposing counsel in chambers.
He said Judge Matojane never gave Ntlemeza any opportunity to speak for himself in court over the issues which informed the adverse findings.
Mokhari looked beyond the ruling and referred to case law which allowed the minister to accept an explanation from Hawks head Ntlemeza and not draw his conclusions about his modesty based on the judgement alone.