ACDP: Pikoli probe takes heat off Selebi

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on Friday raised concerns over the delay of the Ginwala commission of inquiry into the former National Director of Public Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli, saying it has taken the attention off police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

ACDP member of Parliament Steven Swart said President Thabo Mbeki should appoint a judge to conduct an inquiry to determine whether Selebi is ”fit and proper” to hold office.

”This particularly so, following the serious allegations against him and the rumours of his imminent arrest,” said Swart.

He said he regretted the amount of attention that the inquiry into Pikoli had attracted because it had almost excluded an inquiry into Selebi.

”It is unacceptable that so much attention has been given to the Pikoli inquiry, whilst no similar inquiry has been instituted against Selebi, despite very serious allegations against him,” said Swart.

At the very least, Swart said the party expected the suspension of Selebi, pending a similar probe.

According to the rules and timeframes for the inquiry in to Pikoli, released by commission chairperson Frene Ginwala on Thursday, Pikoli has until January 31 to do the same.

Third parties — asked by Ginwala to make submissions or those with special interests or knowledge — also have until January 31 to make representations or submissions.

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Brigitte Mabandla will then have until February 12 to file her reply submissions, with public hearings, if any, scheduled for February 25 to March 7.

The rules and timeframes do not include the duration of the inquiry or set a date for Ginwala to present her report to Mbeki. Commission deputy secretary Lawson Naidoo said this would depend, among other things, on the nature of the submissions received.

Mbeki suspended Pikoli on September 24, and the former speaker of the National Assembly was subsequently appointed on September 28 to head the inquiry.

The commission’s terms of reference cover two broad areas: Pikoli’s fitness to hold office and the breakdown of the working relationship between him and Mabandla. – Sapa

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