Court to rule in Pikoli case

2009-08-11 08:28

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court is expected to rule on Tuesday whether President Jacob Zuma may appoint a new national director of public prosecutions despite a pending legal challenge by the axed NDPP.

Former NDPP Vusi Pikoli wants the court to issue an interim order stopping Zuma from making a new appointment.

Pikoli wants this order to stay in place until judgment had been handed down in his legal bid to have his dismissal ruled unlawful and invalid.

That application has been set down to be heard between November 23 and 25.

If the court rules in favour of Pikoli on Tuesday, it would mean acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe would remain in that position until after the November hearing.

If the court rules against Pikoli, Zuma will be allowed to appoint a new NDPP without having to wait for the outcome of Pikoli's challenge against his dismissal.

Suspended in 2007

Former president Thabo Mbeki suspended Pikoli in September 2007 and Mbeki's successor, Kgalema Motlanthe, removed him from office in December last year, purportedly for not showing adequate regard for national security matters.

In February, Parliament endorsed Motlanthe's decision, which he said was based on the findings of an inquiry into his fitness to hold office which was led by Frene Ginwala.

But Pikoli has rejected this reason, saying she did not make such a finding and that Motlanthe distorted and manipulated the report.

Pikoli maintains that the root cause of his sacking was that he wanted to arrest former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, against Mbeki's wishes.