/ 17 June 2009

Simelane: JZ to have final say?

President Jacob Zuma may be drawn into the sticky issue of dealing with justice Director General Menzi Simelane after the Public Service Commission (PSC) failed to make a finding on his alleged misconduct during the inquiry into the suspension of National Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli.

Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe will be left to deal with Simelane, after the PSC conducted a ”desktop investigation” into the complaint against Simelane by the Ginwala Commission, which probed Pikoli’s fitness for office. Radebe is expected to refer the matter to Zuma, who hires and fires directors general.

Ginwala found that Simelane’s role in drafting a letter from former justice minister Brigitte Mabandla to Pikoli might be ”tantamount to executive interference with the prosecutorial independence of the NPA … a serious offence”.

A source close to the process told the M&G that the PSC report sheds no light on the Simelane issue and provides no advice on how to proceed. Confirming that the report had been completed, PSC chairperson Stan Sangweni said there was no need for additional evidence or to call Simelane to explain. ”We don’t operate like courts; we have our own way of doing [things]. We didn’t find the need to interview anyone,” Sangweni said.