Racial slurs aplenty AS pIKOLI is BOOTED OUT

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Pandemonium erupted in Parliament yesterday, with racist insults flying, as the national assembly voted 232 to 60 to boot Vusi Pikoli out of office.

Opposition parties opposed to the removal of the suspended National Director of Public Prosecutions clashed heavily with the ANC, who voted to uphold President Kgalema Motlanthe's decision to fire Pikoli.

IFP chief whip Koos van der Merwe was ruled out of order for calling the ANC's Oupa Monareng "the most useless chairperson I have ever known in Parliament".

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald was ordered to leave after he refused to withdraw his comment that ANC MPs were "acting like the three little monkeys - seeing, hearing and saying nothing".

Pikoli was suspended 18 months ago by former president Thabo Mbeki after he refused to back down over the arrest of suspended national police commissioner Jackie Selebi on corruption charges.

The Ginwala Commission of Inquiry, set up to determine whether Pikoli was fit to hold office or not, found him to be a man of "unimpeachable integrity" and said he should be reinstated.

But late last year, Motlanthe overruled the commission, saying that Pikoli was "not sensitive enough to matters of national security".

Yesterday, opposition parties maintained that Selebi, who is on long leave facing charges of corruption, was himself the threat to national security.

But ANC MPs came up with a list of grievances against Pikoli, who they also accused of being unwilling to own up to his "mistakes".

The UDM's Jackson Bici called Pikoli's dismissal a political lynching. "Shame on you for strengthening the hands of criminals," he told the ANC MPs.

The ID's Patricia de Lille said "why spend millions on commissions of inquiry when the ANC ignores any recommendation not in their favour?"

Challenging the decision to fire his client, Pikoli's attorney Aslam Moosajee said yesterday "we will now apply to the Pretoria high court to set aside this decision".