Ongoing litigation concerning the Head of the Hawks

A message from the Director following the High Court's dismissal of the urgent court application brought against Ntlemeza by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law.

On 19 April 2016, the Honourable Mr Justice Tuchten dismissed Part A of an application by the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and Freedom Under Law (FUL). Part A of the application sought to interdict Maj-Gen Ntlemeza, the current national head of the DPCI (Hawks), from exercising any powers as head of the Hawks until Part B of the application was finalised.  Part B is a review of the Minister of Police's decision to appoint Maj-Gen Ntlemeza as the head of the Hawks.

The HSF and FUL contend that the Minister's decision to appoint Maj-Gen Ntlemeza was irrational and unlawful, not least as previous pronouncements, by the High Court, indicated that Maj-Gen Ntlemeza was not a fit candidate for the high position of national head of the Hawks, lacking the required integrity and respect for the law.  

Although disappointed that the interim relief under Part A was not granted, it is encouraging to note that the learned Judge found that the matter was of great public importance and was clearly urgent.  In addition, the learned Judge in fact found that the HSF and FUL demonstrated strong prospects of success on the merits of the review (Part B), and that the Minister of Police had probably "disabled himself from making a rational decision" in appointing Maj-Gen Ntlemeza.

The HSF and FUL are thus confident that their proceedings to have the appointment of Maj-Gen Ntlemeza as the National Head of the Hawks declared unlawful and set aside, will succeed.  That case is ongoing, although the Minister and the Cabinet have already missed critical deadlines for filing the Record of Decision (including key documents and reasons pertaining to the decision to appoint) in this matter.  

The HSF and FUL are considering the High Court judgment closely and may seek leave to appeal against it on an expedited basis.


Francis Antonie