'pikoli wants his job back'

FORMER National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli, whose contract expires in 2015, will this week go to court to block President Jacob Zuma from appointing his successor.

FORMER National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli, whose contract expires in 2015, will this week go to court to block President Jacob Zuma from appointing his successor.

Pikoli is challenging his dismissal, which he wants to be ruled as invalid by the court.

His lawyer Aslam Moosajee of Deneys Reitz said yesterday they expect the application for an interim interdict to stop the appointment to be heard in the North Gauteng high court in Pretoria on Thursday.

"The grounds of the application are that they cannot appoint another person while the case, in which he is challenging his dismissal, is still pending.

"And yes, Pikoli wants his job back," he said.

Pikoli took over as NPA chief from Bulelani Ngcuka.

Advocate Mukotedi Mpshe has been the acting head of the NPA since September 2007 when former president Thabo Mbeki suspended Pikoli pending the outcome of a commission of inquiry.

The commission, headed by former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala, subsequently found Pikoli fit to hold public office but former president Kgalema Motlanthe fired him, arguing that his actions had compromised national security.

Against Mbeki's advice, Pikoli had secured a warrant of arrest for then national commissioner of police Jackie Selebi.

Pikoli's dismissal opened a race to find a successor, with speculation of advocate Muzi Mkhize, a member of the legal team that represented Zuma in his corruption trial, emerging as an early favourite.

Since dropping all charges against Zuma on April 6 last year, just days before the general elections, Mpshe won the hearts of influential ANC members and has emerged as a serious contender for the job.

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