Opposition parties have condemned President Kgalema Motlanthe's decision to axe suspended national director of prosecutions Vusi Pikoli.
Azapo president Strike Thokoane said the president's decision was "unfortunate and regrettable".
The UDM's Bantu Holomisa said the axing showed that "people sent to head institutions to promote the ANC are hounded out of office the minute they show any backbone, integrity or independence".
The ID's Patricia de Lille said Motlanthe's decision was unacceptable.
"Saying that Pikoli did not understand national security does not hold water. National security is too often used by the ANC as a disguise for the protection of the narrow political interests of the ANC."
DA leader Helen Zille said: "Motlanthe has failed the first real test of his presidency - to put South Africa's interests before the narrow interests of the Jacob Zuma faction of the ANC."