The Terms of Reference for the Enquiry into the fitness of Adv. Vusumuzi Pikoli to hold the office of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) have been formulated by the President and are now in the public domain.
These Terms of Reference articulate the legal context, objectives, and ambit of the Enquiry, and direct me to determine the fitness of Adv. Pikoli to hold the office of NDPP. In the process of making such a determination the Enquiry will need to establish the events that led to the provisional suspension of Adv. Pikoli from his position by the President on 24 September 2007.
Pursuant to these Terms of Reference, the Enquiry will therefore initially need to focus on two main issues:
- the exercise of discretion by Adv. Pikoli in the decision to prosecute offenders, or grant immunity from prosecution to suspects allegedly involved in organised crime, with particular regard to the public interest and the national security interests of the Republic; and
- the breakdown of the relationship between the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and the National Director of Public Prosecutions, in the context of the legislative and constitutional obligations placed on the Minister and the NDPP.
Government will be submitting its report detailing the circumstances and events leading up to the suspension of Adv Pikoli within the next ten days. I will thereafter solicit a response from Adv. Pikoli, together with any additional submission he may wish to make. I have discussed the process with Adv. Pikoli.
Once I have considered the reports from Government and Adv. Pikoli I will be in a position to establish what further information is required in order to enable me to arrive at a determination.
In as much as the Enquiry will need to consider the “national security interests of the Republic”, any decision on the extent to which the Enquiry may be held in public will be determined at a later stage.
The seat of the Enquiry will be in Gauteng and appropriate premises are being identified at this time.
I have been assured of being able to access the necessary independent legal, administrative and logistical resources that I will require to assist me in discharging my obligations in this Enquiry.
I intend to expedite the Enquiry having due regard to the importance of the issues that it confronts, as well as the need to provide sufficient opportunity for comprehensive submissions by affected parties.
Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 081
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)