Johannesburg – Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula has sent a stern warning to former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza to toe the line.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Mbalula said Ntlemeza and his lawyers should stop writing him letters and rather write to the courts.
This follows a City Press report that a power struggle was brewing between Mbalula and Ntlemeza over the latter’s ejection from office.
“We are not in the Bold and the Beautiful. If he understands the law properly, he will understand his place. I’m not the court. He doesn’t have to write to me, they must write to the court. If they well educated and not illiterate in terms of the law, they will understand they do not have to write to me,” he said to journalists on Sunday.
City Press reported that Ntlemeza insisted that he is still in charge of the Hawks and will turn up for work on Tuesday, in defiance of Mbalula’s letter instructing him to “vacate the office”.
On Wednesday, the High Court in Pretoria dismissed Ntlemeza’s application for leave to appeal its March judgment, with costs. It ordered him to vacate his office immediately. Former police minister Nathi Nhleko had also brought an appeal, which Mbalula has since withdrawn.
Mbalula swiftly announced that Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata would be taking over from Ntlemeza.
Mbalula warned that he would ensure that he would execute the law should Ntlemeza report for duty.
“I’m implementing the court decision. He [Ntlemeza] says he is coming by force. It’s fine, we will see him there and the law will be executed.”
He told journalists that he does not need the drama adding that he had work to do.
“I’m not going to be entertaining what General Ntlemeza is saying to the press. There is no standoff. I’m the minister of police not Ntlemeza.”