/ 8 December 2008

Motlanthe calls Cabinet meeting to mull Ginwala report

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe will on Monday convene a special sitting of Cabinet to discuss the findings of the Ginwala inquiry into suspended National Prosecuting Authority chief Vusi Pikoli’s fitness to hold office.

Business Day quoted sources as saying Ginwala’s investigation had found Pikoli was fit to hold office but rejected his assertion that former president Thabo Mbeki suspended him to stymie the investigation into police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

The findings, which apparently absolve Mbeki, will be seen as a political setback to the current ANC leadership, which had hoped the commission would further shore up its claim that Mbeki abused the law enforcement system.

The report says Justice Department boss Menzi Simelane misled former justice and constitutional development minister Brigitte Mabandla and withheld information from her and the inquiry.

The M&G reported in November ago that the report exonerates Pikoli and recommends his reinstatement as national director of public prosecutions.

It further finds that:

  • Simelane misled Mabandla, although she trusted him;
  • Pikoli was lax in his handling of security clearance issues; and
  • Pikoli gave former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy too much freedom.

Meanwhile, Mbeki on Monday again denied any knowledge of any wrongdoing by Selebi, the Star reported.

He said he found analysis about the report into Pikoli very frustrating.

Mbeki said he remained convinced that no proper evidence of wrongdoing had been brought to him about Selebi when he was in office, and that full cooperation had been given to the investigators. He said he expected to be vindicated.