Tutu backs Pikoli in court

2009-07-01 16:13

Johannesburg - The non-governmental organisation, Freedom Under Law (FUL), will apply to be added as friends of the court in the case involving the dismissal of former chief prosecutor Vusi Pikoli, reports said on Wednesday.

"Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Dr Mamphela Ramphela have agreed to be co-deponents in the amicus intervention in the challenge to the dismissal of Mr Pikoli," states the FUL website,

The Business Day and The Star newspapers reported on Wednesday that Tutu said in court papers to be filed by FUL that it was "essential" that the decision to dismiss Pikoli be "tested against the relevant legal and constitutional principles".

Kriegler, Gauntlett on FUL board

"This is particularly the case because the independence and security of tenure of the NDPP [National Directorate of Public Prosecutions] are critical to the rule of law," Tutu said in the court document.
Tutu is on the FUL's international advisory board.

Former Constitutional Court judge Johann Kriegler and senior advocates Jeremy Gauntlett and Dumisa Ntsebeza are among those on FUL's board of directors, according to its website.

Pikoli was suspended by previous president Thabo Mbeki in September 2007, and finally fired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe in December last year for being insensitive to issues of national security.

Parliament ratified the decision in February amid bitter protest from the opposition, which said the legislature was rubber-stamping an unfair dismissal.

He applied to the High Court in Pretoria in February this year to review and set aside the decision to dismiss him.