Zille Warns on Zuma Lawyer for NPA Post
Cape Town Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has warned that appointing a former member of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma’s legal team as prosecutions chief will trigger a constitutional crisis.
President Kgalema Motlanthe is reportedly poised to appoint Muzi Mkhize as national director of public prosecutions once the formalities of dismissing the suspended Vusi Pikoli are completed.
Motlanthe’s decision to fire Pikoli is before a special parliamentary committee where ANC MPs are set to endorse the move.
Zille said in her weekly internet letter that Mkhize was in Zuma’s team when Zuma first appeared before a Durban magistrate on corruption charges in 2005. He should not be in a position to decide whether his former client could be charged on 783 counts of fraud, bribery and corruption. That would be a conflict of interest. “If President Motlanthe appoints Mkhize, it will be clear why the ANC nominated Motlanthe as president when Thabo Mbeki was ‘recalled’.
“The conclusion would be irresistible that the ANC required Motlanthe to appoint a compliant national director of public prosecutions who would make the charges against Zuma go away.
“Then Zuma would have a clear run for the presidency without the cloud of an imminent corruption trial over his head. The first step was to fire Pikoli. The second step, according to this line of analysis, is to appoint a Zuma man as the country’s chief prosecutor, in accordance with the ANC’s infamous deployment policy.”
The law required the prosecutions chief to be a “fit and proper” person. Zille said Mkhize once gave a legal opinion on charges against a municipal official then chaired a disciplinary committee that dismissed him.
“Mkhize’s ruling was overturned on review before the Natal Provincial Division. He was found guilty of professional misconduct by the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Advocates, and ordered to pay the society a fine of R10 000, the maximum amount…. Mkhize’s integrity has been put to the test once before, and was found wanting.
“Now it seems that the ANC wants to entrust him with one of the most important constitutional offices in the country,” Zille said.
With acknowledgements to Wyndham Hartley and Business Day.