Parliament to tackle Pikoli case next week

A special parliamentary committee will next week start studying President Kgalema Motlanthe’s decision to fire Vusi Pikoli as National Director of Public Prosecutions, the legislature said on Friday.

The 22-member ad hoc committee was expected to complete its work and report to MPs within weeks, allowing them to vote on Pikoli’s fate by the end of February, a spokesperson for Parliament said.

Parliament reconvenes on Monday after a Christmas recess cut short by one week to enable it to deal with Motlanthe’s decision not to reinstate the prosecutions chief suspended by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2007.

The move ran counter to a finding by the Ginwala commission of inquiry last month that Pikoli was fit for office and drew widespread criticism.

Motlanthe based his decision on a comment in Ginwala’s report that Pikoli’s handling of the corruption charges against suspended police chief Jackie Selebi had shown insufficient regard for national security.

A report by the president motivating his decision would be made available to the members of the committee next week.

It would be made up of 13 members of the National Assembly and nine from the National Council of Provinces. Fourteen of its members would be drawn from the ranks of the African National Congress and eight from opposition parties.

The committee would have the power to call witnesses and would make a non-binding recommendation to MPs on whether Pikoli’s dismissal should stand.—Sapa

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