The high court In Pretoria on Friday ruled that the decision to appoint Berning Ntlemeza as the head of the Hawks is invalid.
Civil society groups Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law brought an application for Ntlemeza's appointment to be set aside. They asked the court to refer the appointment to a new selection panel, when a new candidate should be chosen.
In March 2015, high court Judge Elias Matojane ruled that Ntlemeza "lacks integrity and honour", and that he made false statements under oath. He was acting Hawks head at the time.
Ntlemeza was permanently appointed to the position in September 2015. According to reports at the time, Ntlemeza was not short-listed for the position. A spokesperson for him, Musa Zondi, said he had been shortlisted and interviewed.