Cabinet to Weigh Pikoli Report Findings
PresidenT Kgalema Motlanthe will convene a special cabinet sitting this morning to discuss the findings of the Ginwala inquiry into suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Vusi Pikoliís fitness to hold office before making the report public.
Sources said yesterday that after a year-long investigation, Ginwala found Pikoli was fit to hold office but rejected his assertion that former president Thabo Mbeki suspended him to derail the investigation *1 of police chief Jackie Selebi.
The findings, which reportedly absolve Mbeki, will not go down well with some in the African National Congress (ANC), who were hoping he would be found guilty of political interference.
Sources said Motlanthe had ďacceptedĒ the findings, but still had to discuss it with the cabinet because of the sensitive nature of the findings.
Motlanthe has also come under pressure from the ANCís national working committee over the cabinetís continued support for Mbekiís legal action to try to overturn the Nicholson judgment. His handling of the Pikoli issue will be his first major public challenge since taking office in October.
On the eve of the reportís release, Motlanthe sought the counsel of legal and political advisers, sources said.
He was evidently advised to reinstate Pikoli, but put ďprocesses and measuresĒ in place to curb the powers of the national director of public prosecutions, including stricter guidelines on plea bargaining.
Pikoli, rumoured at one time to be heading for the private sector, is on record as having supported the prosecution of ANC leader Jacob Zuma, making the ANC leaders uncomfortable about reinstating him.
Motlanthe, however, is not expected to make a ruling on the issue of political oversight over the NPA.
The Supreme Court of Appeal has not yet ruled on the issue as it is still considering an appeal by the NPA against Judge Chris Nicholsonís finding ≠ in the Zuma case ≠ that it was improper for the executive to meddle in the work of the NPA *2.
With acknowledgements to Hajra Omarjee and Business Day.