Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

ANC MP Butana Kompela says political considerations are more important when deciding to level criminal charges at anyone than "all this periphery stuff about autonomy".

Khompela was responding to suspended National director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli who had earlier told the parliamentary ad hoc committee set up to scrutinise President Kgalema Motlanthe's recommendation that Pikoli be fired.

"Intervention from former president Thabo Mbeki is not interference - that's what we are talking about, not all this periphery stuff about autonomy," Komphela said.

"It is not only you who makes the decision to prosecute without fear or favour.

"There is a political environment you operate in where you must ask if this will have unintended consequences."

Pikoli, pictured, who told the committee he had been suspended because of his pursuit of national police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, said he had to consider the public interest ahead of the "political environment".

"National security should never be used as an excuse to avoid making a criminal investigation where there is overwhelming evidence that crimes have been committed," Pikoli said.