Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2007-09-25 Reporter: Sapa

UDM : Pikoli's Suspension 'Nonsensical'



The Star





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The reasons given by President Thabo Mbeki for the suspension of national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli were nonsensical, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) said on Tuesday.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the fact that Pikoli was involved in crucial cases such as the investigation of former ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma made one suspicious of the real motive behind his suspension.

"The reasons for Pikoli's suspension advanced thus far are nonsensical. President Thabo Mbeki must explain how on earth he can remove the person who must take such important decisions and then cite such flimsy reasons," he said in a statement.

Holomisa said Mbeki - who announced Pikoli's suspension in a statement on Monday citing an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the national director of public prosecutions and Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla - might have acted unfairly.

"The question is whether President Mbeki satisfied himself that there really is such an "irretrievable breakdown" in the relationship between Pikoli and the Minister of Justice, or did he simply take one person's side irrespective of the facts?"

Holomisa said Pikoli's suspension could be linked to the current ruling party's succession battle.

"The problem with the ANC's deployment policy of appointing cadres to key state positions is that when ruling party infighting becomes endemic, as it is now, then there is pressure from certain factions to act against certain people who occupy important positions in the state.

"Increasingly we see that problems in government are a reflection of the ruling party's problems," he said.

Several opposition parties have also questioned the motive behind Pikoli's suspension, with the Democratic Alliance calling for the national assembly's justice committee to immediately convene a meeting to examine the issue.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and The Star.