Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has instructed Hawks management not to take any orders from Berning Ntlemeza, saying he doesn’t have the legal authority to do so.
Mbalula was speaking at a briefing at the Hawks headquarters in Pretoria, where Ntlemeza attempted to report for duty on Monday morning.
The minister has reiterated that Ntlemeza is no longer head of the unit following a court order which ruled he is neither fit nor proper to hold the position.
Mbalula read out the court order, which he says is clear Ntlemeza may no longer be the head of the Hawks.
“He has no right to enter and instruct anybody to take orders from him, in as far as the Hawks are concerned. I have explained that to [acting Hawks boss] General [Yolisa] Matakata too, and she understands that very well.”
Mbalula has accused Ntlemeza of unlawfully taking a state car from the Hawks offices this morning.
“The car must be tracked down, that’s my instruction, and it must be brought back to this place before I leave.”
The minister has instructed acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane to recover the vehicle.
Mbalula says he'll be taking legal action against Ntlemeza, following his arrival at the head office earlier.
Ntlemeza reportedly marched into a management meeting this morning and ordered he be given a car.
Mbalula says the lieutenant-general reported for duty this morning, despite the minister announcing earlier this month that he longer holds the top post.
“By law, I am accordingly obliged to respect and uphold the contents of the court of 12 April and regard Ntlemeza’s contract invalid – notwithstanding his possible petition to the Supreme Court of Appeals.”