South African President Kgalema Motlanthe on Monday dismissed the head of the country’s prosecuting authority, which is leading the corruption case against ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

Vusi Pikoli, head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), angered many in the ruling African National Congress and former President Thabo Mbeki by carrying out separate investigations of Zuma and national police chief Jackie Selebi.

Mbeki suspended Pikoli in September 2007 after the prosecutor requested an arrest warrant for Selebi, an Mbeki ally accused of involvement with organised crime. Selebi faces corruption and fraud charges and is currently suspended.

Motlanthe, who took over after Mbeki was ousted by the ANC in September, said he decided Pikoli had to go after an inquiry found the suspended chief prosecutor had failed to consider national security concerns in the Selebi case and other matters.

“The report indicated that Advocate Pikoli was not sensitive to the very important matter of national security,” Motlanthe told reporters after the inquiry’s findings were released to the public in the capital Pretoria.

Motlanthe’s decision, which the ANC-dominated parliament is expected to ratify in the coming months, flew in the face of the inquiry’s recommendation that Pikoli be restored to his former position.

While blaming Pikoli for endangering national security, the inquiry reserved most of its criticism for the government and officials in the department of justice, saying they had not proved many of the allegations made against the NPA head SOURCED FROM REUTERS


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