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Parliament must review Dramat suspension: DA

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The Democratic Alliance on Sunday called for a parliamentary review of the police minister’s decision to suspend Hawks head Anwa Dramat.

“The DA…wants Parliament to review Minister [Nkosinathi] Nhleko’s decision to suspend Dramat, in contravention of a Constitutional Court ruling,” said DA leader Helen Zille in a statement.

“We believe there is a case for Parliament to find that the minister is not fit to hold office.”

On December 23, Dramat was suspended apparently pending a probe into his alleged involvement in facilitating the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in November 2010.

However, there have been suggestions from various organisations that the suspension contravenes a recent Constitutional Court judgment.

In a separate case dealing with the Hawks’s independence from the national executive, in November, the Constitutional Court deleted a section of legislation dealing with the process through which the head of the Hawks could be suspended.

Criticising the “untrammelled power” given to the police minister, instead the court ruled that the police minister could only suspend the head once a parliamentary committee had conducted an investigation — an action that was not taken in the case of Dramat.

This weekend, the Helen Suzman Foundation announced that it had approached the High Court in Pretoria seeking an order for Dramat’s suspension to be declared invalid, due to its clash with the constitutional court judgment.

Last month, during an interview with Radio 702, Dramat’s advocate Johan Nortje dismissed the minister’s reasons given for the suspension as “baseless”, saying that his client had already been cleared by a report into the alleged renditions.

“It’s quite clear that there are politics that are involved here,” he said at the time. SAPA

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