Police minister Nathi Nhleko plans to appeal a high court ruling that found the appointment of Hawks boss Major General Berning Ntlemeza invalid.
Nhleko will file papers with the court on Monday‚ his spokesperson Sandile Ngidi said.
“The minister does not take this decision lightly. He is aware that South Africans might misinterpret his intentions…He’s just urging for due process to be allowed‚” Ngidi told TimesLIVE.
The high court in Pretoria slammed Nhleko on Friday for “completely ignoring and brushing aside remarks made by a court”.
The Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law brought the case to the high court‚ arguing that two previous judgments had found that Ntlemeza lacked integrity and was dishonest.
But Nhleko believed that Ntlemeza’s rights had been violated‚ Ngidi said.
“In the judgment on Friday‚ one of the core arguments was that the minister was wrong to ignore remarks in a previous judgment. In that case‚ General Ntlemeza was never given a chance to explain himself‚” Ngidi said.
He said Ntlemeza’s appointment was in line with what South Africans had been “crying for” – a career policeman.
“General Ntlemeza has been in the service for over 30 years. There has been a series of major successes [under his watch]. Drug labs have closed down‚ the OR Tambo arrests‚ where the Hawks played a major role‚ working together with SAPS. South Africans need to appreciate that‚ though crime levels are high‚ there is great commitment [to fight crime]‚” Ngidi said.