News24

Zuma 'respects' Pikoli ruling

2009-08-11 13:05

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday said he respected and would abide by a court ruling in favour of axed prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli.

"The presidency has noted the ruling in the North Gauteng High Court in the application by former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Vusi Pikoli interdicting President Jacob Zuma from making a permanent appointment of a new NDPP.

"The president respects the ruling and will abide by it," his office said in a statement.

Zuma will make further comment once the judgment had been studied by the presidency.

Efforts to tackle crime

"It [the presidency] reiterates President Jacob Zuma's view that the appointment of a permanent head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is critical to the country's efforts to tackle crime."

Zuma was interdicted on Tuesday from permanently appointing an NDPP.

Handing down judgment in under a minute, Judge Ben du Plessis said Pikoli, who was axed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, had presented a prima facie case.

The interdict order was set in place until the full application could be heard in November.

Pikoli's legal team has argued the decision to fire him was unlawful and unconstitutional and therefore Zuma should be interdicted from appointing his successor.

Speaking outside court, Pikoli's lawyer Aslam Moosajee said he was "delighted" by the outcome.

"But we have to be mindful of the fact that this is a step in the process."

Prima facie case

He said while he still had to study the written judgment, ultimately Du Plessis had granted the interim interdict because there was a prima facie case that needed to be argued.

"The damages would have [also] ultimately not have benefited Mr Pikoli," said Moosajee.

Pikoli was offered around R10m in damages after he was fired, however, he decided to forgo the money and challenge his dismissal in court.

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