Hawks boss Anwa Dramat cannot return to work on Monday now that Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has filed to appeal a court’s decision to overturn his suspension, the ministry said on Sunday.
“Because we have filed the appeal papers the status quo remains… he is still suspended,” police ministry spokesman Musa Zondi said.
Dramat could not return to work until the appeal had been heard. His return would also depend on the outcome of the appeal. Zondi said the papers for leave to appeal were filed on Friday.
The police minister did not waste time filing papers a few hours after the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Dramat’s suspension was “unlawful and invalid”.
Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled that Nhleko’s decision to appoint Maj-Gen Berning Ntlemeza as acting national Hawks head was unlawful and invalid.
The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) approached the court, asking it to set aside Nhleko’s decision to suspend Dramat and Ntlemeza’s subsequent appointment. Dramat was suspended on December 23, pending a probe into his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans in November 2010.
The HSF maintained the wording of the SA Police Service Act, under which Nhleko purportedly made the decision, had been struck down by the Constitutional Court, making Dramat’s suspension invalid. Prinsloo ordered Nhleko to pay the HSF’s legal costs. SAPA