'No one objected to Zuma searches'

Neither the presidency nor the Justice Ministry had raised concerns about security clearance ahead of the raids on the offices of Jacob Zuma while he was deputy president, suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli said yesterday.

Neither the presidency nor the Justice Ministry had raised concerns about security clearance ahead of the raids on the offices of Jacob Zuma while he was deputy president, suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli said yesterday.

"There were no objections to the searches. There were no reservations about the searches," he said in Johannesburg at the Ginwala commission of inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

He said once the Directorate of Special Operations had secured the warrants he told President Thabo Mbeki, Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and no one raised any concerns.

Only Frank Chikane said the search at Tuynhuys in Cape Town might be a problem because parliament was in recess.

Earlier in the inquiry National Intelligence Agency director-general Manala Manzini said that only three of the nine DSO operatives involved in the operation had security clearance to be in an environment containing classified documents.

At about 6pm on the night of the searches Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi phoned him to say that his men had been there the whole day and that he must call off the searches, which he objected to.

"It was not his business to order me to pull off my men," he said. - Sapa

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