Editorial: Ntlemeza shows blatant defiance

Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza has demonstrated yet again that he feels feathers for the law in South Africa and does not consider himself to be accountable to anyone.

It is interesting to observe that the axed Hawks boss’s staggering show of defiance has practically mirrored the lack of accountability we have grown all too accustomed to seeing from President Jacob Zuma himself.

Of course there are others who are close to the president, such as Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who have similarly come to believe themselves untouchable.

Besides blithely dismissing two court orders that found him unfit to hold the post, Ntlemeza also proceeded to give Police Minister Fikile Mbalula the middle finger.

Though Mbalula has made it clear Ntlemeza is no longer head of the Hawks and that he should immediately vacate his office, Ntlemeza insists he is still the boss.

He even reported for duty at the Hawks headquarters in Silverton on Monday, barging into a meeting and booking out a state vehicle and cellphone before returning these later in the day.

Parliament has washed its hands of Ntlemeza, effectively saying he is on his own, and he still believes he has every right to stick around pending the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal his attorney has lodged.

So determined is he to stay in the position that he has now also applied for an interdict, essentially to prevent Mbalula from blocking his return to work.

This nation has yet another soap opera playing out in front of our very eyes. But entertaining as it has been, it is also tragic.

Tragic because a supposedly independent unit with a vital role to fulfil has been tarnished yet again, this time by a man who should never have been put in charge in the first place, a man so lacking in integrity that he sees himself as above the very laws he is tasked with enforcing.

The sense of déjà vu is overwhelming.

Leave a Reply