Cape Town: Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has asked the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, which exercises its oversight on Police, to initiate processes to remove the suspended Hawks head Anwa Dramat.
Briefing the committee on Thursday, the Minister said as the executive authority, he was compelled to act in the name of accountability when he suspended the Hawks head in December.
The Minister said after a report was presented to him alleging the Hawk’s involvement in the smuggling of Zimbabwean nationals out of the country before torturing and killing them, he needed to order an inquiry to get to the bottom of the allegations.
He said the heinous crimes that were allegedly committed against the Zimbabwean nationals were human rights violations.
“The question that arises is how many people had to die before I took action.
“It is for this reason that I now put a request to the committee for an initiation of proceedings for the removal of the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation by the committee of the National Assembly as contemplated … [by the] South African Police Service (SAPS) Act,” he said.
The Minister’s announcement comes after Dramat’s suspension was set aside by the Pretoria High Court after a judge ruled that the Minister was not entitled to suspend the Hawks head based on a Constitutional Court ruling that struck a section of the South African Police Service Act off.
Briefing the Committee, the Minister said he did not use the deleted section of the SAPS Act when suspending the Hawks head, but instead he used the Public Service Act and common law.
The Minister said when he came into office in May last year, his office was inundated with requests for him to act against Zimbabwean Renditions.
While the Minister said he could not intimately discuss the allegations contained in various reports, including the findings of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigations, because the matter was still before the courts, he said the allegations made in statements … place the members of the Hawks and its head at the heart of these allegations.
He said he regarded accountability as a hallmark of democracy, and said as Dramat was also an employee of the state, he was not excluded from accounting from the prescripts of the Public Service Act.
The Minister said he acted within the law when he took a decision to suspend the Hawks head.
He said allegations of human rights violations were central to his decision to suspend Dramat.
“I am therefore compelled to act against such heinous crimes. It does not matter whether the victims are of Zimbabwean nationality.
“Lieutenant-general Dramat is a senior employee in the public service. The labour relations act does not exclude him from such applications.”
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS