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Police ministry won’t reconsider decision to fire Ntlemeza

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JOHANNESBURG - The police ministry says it has the full backing of the law in its decision to fire former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza and it will not be reconsidering.

The City Press is reporting that Ntlemeza has refused to vacate his office and says he will be reporting for work on Tuesday morning.

Last week, the Pretoria High Court ruled that Ntlemeza should step down from his position immediately.

Subsequently, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula announced Hawks deputy commissioner Yolisa Matakata would act in the top post until further notice.

The paper also says Ntlemeza claims Mbalula has no right to fire him as that is up to Parliament.

The police ministry's Vuyo Mhaga says Mbalula fulfilled his legal obligation.

“The minister has quoted Section 17 of the Police Act which says if the current head is not there, there must be an acting head. The court pronounced that appointment was invalid and we needed to respond to that reality.”

Mbalula withdrew an appeal by his predecessor Nkosinathi Nhleko to escalate the matter to the appeal court, saying it was in the national interest.

He says he hopes to appoint a permanent head of the Hawks by the end of the year and the process will be followed to the letter of the law.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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