See you in court!

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Vusi Pikoli's lawyers are set to take parliament to court to have him reinstated after he was axed by President Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday.

Reacting to the axing of the suspended national director of public prosecutions, advocate Wim Trengove told Sowetan that if parliament endorsed Motlanthe's decision, "we will take it to court".

"The president can't fire the national director unless he is found to be unfit to hold office. Since the commission did not find him unfit for office, if Parliament dismisses Pikoli, this will be unlawful."

In a shock move, the president ignored the findings of the Ginwala commission of enquiry which said Pikoli should "never have been suspended" in the first place.

Motlanthe said "the recommendation . that Pikoli should be restored to office, is illogical".

Speaking from the Union Buildings, Motlanthe said he was overruling Ginwala's decision.

The president said Ginwala's finding that Pikoli could have been more sensitive to matters of national security was "really very serious".

"I have come to the determination that Pikoli should be relieved of his responsibilities as the country's NDPP," Motlanthe said.

Pikoli's axing will only be official after Parliament rubber stamps the president's decision.

Pikoli was suspended by former president Thabo Mbeki in September 2007 after he defied Mbeki's instruction not to arrest police chief Jackie Selebi.

Selebi, who has since taken "special leave", faces charges of corruption in relation to allegations that he received money from drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.

Mbeki had told Pikoli that arresting Selebi could anger the police and create a potential security crisis in the country.

At the time Mbeki asked Pikoli to wait two weeks before carrying out the arrests. Pikoli said two weeks was too long. He told Mbeki that he would give Selebi one week only.

The then president refused to accept this and suspended him.

Former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala was then appointed to head a commission of enquiry to determine if Pikoli was fit to hold office - while Selebi was charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice and placed on "special leave".

In a 212-page report released yesterday, Ginwala found that most of the government's allegations against Pikoli were "baseless".

Motlanthe yesterday denied he was acting under political pressure in getting rid of Pikoli.

Last year Pikoli came under fire from the ANC for reinstating corruption charges against the party's president, Jacob Zuma.