SUBMISSIONS TO THE PRESIDENT




 MR PIKOLI’S FITNESS FOR OFFICE




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Wim Trengove SC, Tim Bru...
PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                                               2
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   3
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      4
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    5
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                        6
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    7
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    8
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      9
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                     10
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                               11
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                     12
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   13
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   14
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  15
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                 16
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    17
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    18
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   19
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      20
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   21
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   22
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   23
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  24
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  25
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                   26
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                       27
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  28
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                          29
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      30
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  31
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                  32
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                     33
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      34
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                      35
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                    36
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PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS                                                                          37
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Complex Discovery Chief Legal Officer Survey

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Complex Discovery Chief Legal Officer Survey

  1. 1. SUBMISSIONS TO THE PRESIDENT MR PIKOLI’S FITNESS FOR OFFICE by Wim Trengove SC, Tim Bruinders SC and Benny Makola instructed by Aslam Moosajee of Deneys Reitz
  2. 2. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 2 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION................................................................................................ 3 MR PIKOLI WAS VINDICATED ......................................................................... 5 HIS ACCUSERS WERE DISGRACED .............................................................. 7 THE ENQUIRY PROTECTED THE MINISTER AND THE PRESIDENT ......... 12 THE ADVERSE FINDINGS .............................................................................. 20 Introduction ................................................................................................... 20 The listing of the DSO................................................................................... 20 The search at the Union Buildings ................................................................ 21 The Malawi investigation............................................................................... 24 The Browse Mole Report .............................................................................. 26 The Selebi arrest and prosecution ................................................................ 28 Mr Pikoli’s understanding of broader considerations .................................... 36 Mr Pikoli is fit for office .................................................................................. 37
  3. 3. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 3 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 INTRODUCTION 1. Dr Ginwala has now reported to the President on her enquiry into Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office in terms of s 12(6)(a) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act 32 of 1998. The President has to decide whether to remove Mr Pikoli from office or lift his suspension and restore him to office. These are Mr Pikoli’s submissions to the President on that decision. We submit with respect that Mr Pikoli is fit for office and that the enquiry has completely vindicated him. There is no basis for his removal from office. The President is urged to lift his suspension and restore him to office without delay. 2. Our submissions address the following topics: 2.1. The vindication of Mr Pikoli. The enquiry has vindicated him, found no basis to doubt his fitness for office and recommended that he be restored to office. 2.2. His principal accusers were disgraced and the case against him discredited. The Minister was the government’s principal witness on a number of crucial disputes. She chose not to give evidence. The inference is that her evidence would not have withstood the scrutiny of cross-examination. The DG gave evidence in her stead. He was however discredited. The enquiry found him to be conniving and dishonest and that he had bedevilled Mr Pikoli’s relationship with the Minister.
  4. 4. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 4 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 2.3. The enquiry was unduly protective of the Minister and the President. Some of its findings against Mr Pikoli were a manifestation of its determination to protect the Minister and the President. They should be judged in that light. 2.4. We address each of the findings adverse to Mr Pikoli. We submit in the first place that they were wrongly made. We submit in any event that, even if they were correctly made, they do not reflect on Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office. The enquiry itself held that, despite its findings against Mr Pikoli, he has not been shown to be unfit for office. It is neither competent nor appropriate to remove him from office. 3. We addressed all the contentious issues in our final submissions to the enquiry. A copy of those submissions accompany these submissions. We will from time to time cross-refer to them rather than repeat what they say.
  5. 5. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 5 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 MR PIKOLI WAS VINDICATED 4. The NDPP may only be removed from office on the grounds listed in s 12(6)(a) of the NPA Act. The only ground on which the government contended Mr Pikoli should be removed from office, was that he was “no longer a fit and proper person” to hold the office of NDPP. This was the subject of Dr Ginwala’s enquiry. She concluded that the government had failed to substantiate any of the reasons given for Mr Pikoli’s suspension and that he should “be restored to the office of NDPP”. 1 We submit for the reasons that follow that she was correct in this conclusion. 5. Section 9(1)(b) of the NPA Act tells us that the question whether someone is “a fit and proper person” to hold office as NDPP, must be determined with due regard to his “experience, conscientiousness and integrity”. Mr Pikoli’s experience has never been in doubt. He is vastly more experienced today than he was when the President first appointed him. The remaining questions are whether he is sufficiently conscientious and of such integrity as is required by the office of NDPP. 6. The enquiry completely vindicated Mr Pikoli on this score. It not only concluded that the government had failed to impugn Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office but also specifically vindicated his integrity and conscientiousness. It repeatedly held that Mr Pikoli, - “impressed me as a person of unimpeachable integrity”; 2 1 Report p 212 para I 2 Report p 69 para 95
  6. 6. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 6 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 - “impressed me as a man of unquestionable integrity, with passion to execute his constitutional responsibilities without fear, favour or prejudice” 3 , and - “impressed me as a person of unimpeachable integrity and credibility”. 4 7. These findings are a resounding endorsement of Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office. They leave no room for any suggestion that he is no longer fit for office. Nobody can say that he lacks the integrity or is insufficiently conscientious for the office of NDPP. He would be the first to admit that he is not perfect, that he makes mistakes and that he must always strive to do better. But nobody can say that he is no longer fit for office. 3 Report p 177 para 284 4 Report p 185 para 296
  7. 7. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 7 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 HIS ACCUSERS WERE DISGRACED 8. The Minister and the DG of Justice were Mr Pikoli’s main accusers. The irony is that, while he was vindicated by the enquiry, they were disgraced, the Minister by her failure to give evidence and the DG by the damning findings on his conduct and his evidence. 9. The Minister’s evidence was pivotal to the government’s case against Mr Pikoli. She was the government’s main complainant. Her evidence was contested on a number of crucial issues. The enquiry called for oral evidence to test and weigh the competing versions against each other. The Minister chose not to give oral evidence and have her version tested in cross-examination. It was tantamount to an admission that her accusations against Mr Pikoli could not withstand the scrutiny of cross-examination. 10. The Minister’s failure to come forward and give evidence in support of her own accusations was particularly significant because her evidence was crucial to the government’s case against Mr Pikoli: 10.1. The Minister ordered Mr Pikoli in her letter of Tuesday 18 September 2007 to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. The instruction was unlawful, unconstitutional and a criminal offence. 5 10.2. The Minister denied on affidavit that she had intended to interfere with Mr Pikoli in the performance of his functions as NDPP. But she then 5 Report p 177 paras 285 to 289
  8. 8. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 8 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 declined to let her denial be tested under cross-examination. It was tantamount to an acknowledgment that her denial could not withstand scrutiny. 10.3. When Mr Pikoli refused to obey the Minister’s instruction, she responded on Sunday 23 September 2007 by asking him to resign. It is clear that she wanted him to resign because he had refused to obey her order to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. If there was an innocent explanation for her request, she would have given it. Her failure to do so means there was none. 10.4. When Mr Pikoli asked the Minister on Sunday 23 September 2007 why she wanted him to resign, she said it was because their relationship had broken down. Government later repeated this explanation in the letter of suspension, in their public statements on Mr Pikoli’s suspension and in the enquiry. Mr Pikoli denied that it was true. He challenged the Minister on it when she first made the suggestion and has since then persisted in his denial that his relationship with the Minister had broken down. Only the Minister could have supported government’s case on this score. She failed to do so. The explanation was plainly untrue. The Minister’s relationship with Mr Pikoli had never broken down. This is indeed what the enquiry found. 6 10.5. Mr Pikoli saw the President on Sunday 23 September 2007 immediately after he had declined the Minister’s request for his 6 Report p 7 para 11.1, p 61 paras 81 to 96 and p 191 paras 308 to 311
  9. 9. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 9 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 resignation. The President repeated the request. When Mr Pikoli again declined, the President suspended him. He appears to have acted on the Minister’s advice because he explained in his letter of suspension that the Minister “has also drawn my attention to the breakdown of relations between your office and hers”. Mr Pikoli appears to have been suspended on the Minister’s advice to achieve what her instruction to him on the Tuesday and her request for his resignation on the Sunday had failed to achieve, to stop his arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. If there was an innocent explanation, the Minister would have given it. Her failure to do so means that there was none. 11. Instead of giving evidence herself, the Minister sent in the DG to give evidence on the government’s behalf. He was also an important complainant in his own right, second only to the Minister. He drafted the Minister’s letter of 18 September 2007 ordering Mr Pikoli to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. He also drafted government’s submissions of complaint against Mr Pikoli in the enquiry. He became government’s main witness when the Minister chose not to give oral evidence. 12. The enquiry however found him to be conniving and dishonest. 7 12.1. He bedevilled Mr Pikoli’s relationship with the Minister. 8 7 Report p 12 paras 14 to 15, p 100 paras 153 to 160 and p 195 paras 317 to 322 8 Report p 12 para 14 and p 191 para 309
  10. 10. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 10 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 12.2. He made numerous baseless accusations against Mr Pikoli. 9 12.3. He arrogated powers to himself which he did not have. It brought him into conflict with Mr Pikoli. The DG obtained an opinion from senior counsel who disagreed with him and agreed with Mr Pikoli. The DG however ignored the opinion, concealed it from Mr Pikoli, did not disclose it to the enquiry and tried to conceal it by lying about it under oath. 10 12.4. He prepared the Minister’s letter to Mr Pikoli on 18 September 2007 ordering him to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. The enquiry held that this conduct “was reckless to say the least” and that the letter was “tantamount to executive interference with the prosecutorial independence of the NPA, which is recognised as a serious offence in the Act”. 11 12.5. The enquiry concluded that the DG’s conduct had been “highly irregular”, that his suppression of information was “not consonant with the responsibilities of a senior state official”, that his evidence had been “contradictory” and that his attitude to Mr Pikoli had been “arrogant and condescending”. 12 9 Report p 12 para 15 10 Report p 100 paras 153 to 155 and p 104 para 158 11 Report p 105 para 159 read with p 177 paras 285 to 289 12 Report p 103 para 157
  11. 11. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 11 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 12.6. His personal views informed his formulation of government’s complaints against Mr Pikoli. They were replete with baseless accusations he had to retreat under cross-examination. 13 The Commission concluded that all these complaints “were spurious, and are rejected without substance, and may have been motivated by personal issues”. 14 13. We submit that both Mr Pikoli’s main antagonists were disgraced, the Minister by her failure to give evidence and the DG by the condemnation of his conduct and his evidence. Their disgrace stripped the government’s case against Mr Pikoli of any credibility. 13 Report p 104 para 158, p 106 para 160, p 195 paras 320 to 322 14 Report p 196 para 321
  12. 12. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 12 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 THE ENQUIRY PROTECTED THE MINISTER AND THE PRESIDENT 14. The enquiry was overly protective of the Minister and the President. It bent over backwards to protect them. It was perhaps to be expected seeing that the enquiry derived its mandate from the President, undertook the investigation for him and reported back to him. He was its principal all along. The problem however is that it skewed the enquiry’s views and informed some of its findings against Mr Pikoli. 15. A good example of the way in which the enquiry’s determination to protect the Minister and the President skewed its findings, is its treatment of Mr Pikoli’s accusation that the real reason for his suspension was to stop his arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. 16. Mr Pikoli put this accusation at the forefront of his case because it reflected on the credibility of his suspension. He said in the opening paragraphs of his original affidavit that there was only one reason for his suspension and that was to put a spoke in the wheels of the investigation and prosecution of Mr Selebi. 15 He repeated this accusation in his oral evidence. 16 He persisted in it in his counsel’s closing submissions. 17 17. The run-up to Mr Pikoli’s suspension made it quite clear that its purpose was to put a spoke in the wheels of Mr Pikoli’s plan to arrest and prosecute Mr Selebi. 15 Pikoli Answer p 2 paras 6 to 7 16 Pikoli Evidence pp 659 and 755 to 756 17 Pikoli Final Submissions p 29 paras 47 to 70 read with p 39 paras 71 to 92
  13. 13. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 13 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 We described this run-up in our final submissions in the enquiry from page 29 in paragraphs 47 to 70. We point to some of its highlights: 17.1. Mr Pikoli told the President on 15 September 2007 that the DSO had obtained warrants to arrest Mr Selebi and search his premises. The President was surprised by this news. He asked Mr Pikoli to give him two weeks to make the arrangements necessary for the execution of the warrants. Mr Pikoli responded that two weeks were too long but that he would delay the execution of the warrants for a week. The President did not quibble or engage with Mr Pikoli on the issue. 17.2. The President addressed a letter to the Minister on Monday 17 September 2007 requesting particulars of the planned arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi to enable him to take such decisions as might be necessary. He did not suggest he had been given insufficient time to do so. 17.3. On Tuesday 18 September 2007 the Minister handed Mr Pikoli the letter in which she ordered him to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. 17.4. It is clear from this account that there was a rupture on the Monday or the Tuesday between Mr Pikoli’s discussions with the President culminating in the President’s letter to the Minister on the Monday on the one hand, and the Minister’s instruction to Mr Pikoli on the Tuesday to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi on the other. The rupture has never been explained. We do not know whether the
  14. 14. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 14 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 Minister took the initiative to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi or whether the President instructed her to do so. What we do know is that the Minister was suddenly and inexplicably determined to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. 17.5. Mr Pikoli informed the Minister on Wednesday 19 September 2007 that he could not comply with her instruction to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi: “I wish to point out respectfully that if indeed it were an instruction, it would be unlawful. It would place me in a position where I would have to act in breach of the oath of office I took and of my duties under the Constitution and the NPA Act.” 18 17.6. Mr Pikoli met with the Minister late Sunday afternoon 23 September 2007. She asked him to resign because she said there had been a breakdown of trust between them. He was shocked by this statement because they had always had a cordial relationship. He declined to resign. 17.7. Mr Pikoli met with the President shortly thereafter in the early evening on Sunday 23 September 2007. The President knew about Mr Pikoli’s refusal to heed the Minister’s request that he resign. The President told him that he would suspend him if he did not resign. Mr Pikoli persisted that he was not prepared to resign. The President then suspended him. 18 Pikoli letter 19 September 2007 VP13 p 6 para 3
  15. 15. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 15 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 17.8. The day of Mr Pikoli’s suspension was the last day of the week for which he had agreed to delay the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. He was due to proceed with it the following day. 18. We submit that this sequence of events leaves no room for any inference other than that Mr Pikoli was suspended to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. The inference is reinforced by the fact that the government put forward reasons for Mr Pikoli’s suspension which were plainly spurious: 18.1. They said in their letter of suspension and in their public statements that Mr Pikoli had been suspended because of the breakdown of his relationship with the Minister. This was spurious. We discussed it in our final submissions to the enquiry from page 39 in paragraphs 71 to 77. The enquiry held that government had not shown the relationship between Mr Pikoli and the Minister to have broken down. 19 But even if their relationship had broken down, the suggestion that the breakdown precipitated Mr Pikoli’s suspension on the eve of his arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi, is absurd. 18.2. The other reason for Mr Pikoli’s suspension mentioned in the President’s letter of suspension, was that the President had received information which showed that Mr Pikoli had “entertained the granting of immunity to members of organised crime syndicates in instances where the prosecution of such people would, in the government’s view, 19 Report p 61 paras 81 to 96 and p 191 pars 308 to 311
  16. 16. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 16 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 be in the public interest”. We discussed this suggestion in our final submissions in the enquiry from page 42 in paragraphs 78 to 83. The government abandoned part of this complaint in the enquiry and did not pursue the remainder of it with any vigour. The complaint was in any event dismissed. 20 But even if there was substance to the complaint, the suggestion that it suddenly surfaced and caused Mr Pikoli’s suspension on the eve of his arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi, cannot be seriously made. 19. The government subsequently raised many further complaints in their attempt to justify Mr Pikoli’s suspension. The enquiry however dismissed all of them. 21 It concluded that, “the basis advanced by government for the suspension of Advocate Pikoli has not been established through the evidence submitted to the enquiry”. 22 20. This evidence only leaves room for one conclusion. The circumstances of his suspension made it clear that its purpose was to frustrate his plan to arrest and prosecute Mr Selebi. This inference is fortified by government’s inability to give an innocent explanation for his suspension and the fact that it put forward false reasons instead. The enquiry should have concluded that Mr Pikoli was suspended for an ulterior purpose. 20 Report p 7 para 11.2, p 71 paras 97 to 108 and p 192 paras 312 to 316 21 Report p 190 paras 306 to 349 22 Report p 206 para 349
  17. 17. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 17 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 21. In its determination to protect the Minister and the President however, the enquiry went on to speculate on government’s behalf that there were circumstances suggesting that Mr Pikoli was suspended for other reasons: 21.1. The enquiry pointed out that the Minister and the President had until then been supportive of the investigation of Mr Selebi and had done nothing to frustrate it. 23 That was so but it was proved beyond doubt that, in the days leading up to Mr Pikoli’s suspension, their attitude changed and they took desperate measures to stop Mr Selebi’s arrest and prosecution. The Minister instructed Mr Pikoli on Tuesday 18 September 2007 not to proceed with the arrest and prosecution. He was suspended a mere five days later when he refused to obey her instruction. It is clear beyond doubt that, whatever her attitude might previously have been, the Minister’s conduct in the critical days leading up to Mr Pikoli’s suspension was driven by a clear determination to stop the arrest and prosecution of Mr Selebi. The President in turn acted on the Minister’s advice. 21.2. The enquiry secondly pointed out that Mr Selebi’s arrest and prosecution have gone ahead in early 2008. 24 But it is for the Minister to explain why she was determined to stop Mr Selebi’s arrest and prosecution in September 2007 but prepared to let it go ahead in early 2008. She has failed to give any explanation for it. It is not for the enquiry to speculate on her behalf that it demonstrates her innocence 23 Report p 175 para 283 24 Report p 176 para 284
  18. 18. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 18 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 all along. It must be borne in mind that Mr Selebi was only arrested and prosecuted, - after the ANC’s Polokwane conference where the President was a candidate for re-election as President of the ANC and Mr Selebi was reported to be one of his supporters; - after much speculation in the media that Mr Pikoli had been suspended to protect Mr Selebi; and - after an independent panel had agreed with Mr Pikoli and the NPA that Mr Selebi should be prosecuted. It is hardly surprising that government no longer stood in the way of the prosecution of Mr Selebi in those circumstances. 21.3. The enquiry lastly speculated that Mr Pikoli’s suspension might have been precipitated “by the need to avert the possible threat to national security that may have resulted if the warrants were executed before an enabling environment was created”. 25 We later deal with this suggestion more fully. It is no more however than speculation by the enquiry in defence of the Minister and the President. The evidence on which it is based, is that the President asked Mr Pikoli on Saturday 15 September 2008, to suspend the execution of the warrants for two weeks to allow him to make the necessary arrangements. Mr Pikoli replied that two weeks was too long but that he would suspend the execution of the warrants for a week. If it was inadequate, the President would have engaged with Mr Pikoli on the issue there and then or at some time in the course of the following week or at the very 25 Report p 206 para 348
  19. 19. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 19 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 latest before he suspended him the following Sunday. But he never made any mention of it again. His letter of suspension did not suggest that it played any part in Mr Pikoli’s suspension at all. The enquiry’s speculation that it might nonetheless have been the reason for Mr Pikoli’s suspension is thus sheer speculation in defence of the Minister and the President. 22. We submit that the enquiry was unduly protective of the Minister and the President. Its findings against Mr Pikoli should be seen in that light. The enquiry vindicated Mr Pikoli but, in its efforts to protect the Minister and the President, made adverse findings against him which were unjustified.
  20. 20. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 20 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 THE ADVERSE FINDINGS Introduction 23. We will address each of the enquiry’s findings against Mr Pikoli. We submit that they were wrong, more often than not as a result of the enquiry’s determination to protect the Minister and the President. After we have addressed each of these findings however, we will in any event submit that, even if they were correct, they do not reflect adversely on Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office. They are no more than differences of opinion between the enquiry and Mr Pikoli on the manner in which he ought to have performed his functions as NDPP. At worst for Mr Pikoli, he might have been mistaken in the way he performed his functions. But that is to say only that he is human. It is a far cry from saying that he is no longer fit for office. The listing of the DSO 24. The facts were that the DSO was an unlisted “public entity” within the meaning of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999. Section 47(2) of the PFMA provides that the accounting authority of an unlisted public entity “must, without delay, notify the National Treasury, in writing, that the public entity is not listed”. Mr Pikoli repeatedly tried to explain to the Minister that this provision obliged them to notify Treasury “without delay” that the DSO was an unlisted public entity. He did so in a memorandum of 28 March 2006, a meeting on 11 June 2006, a second memorandum of 7 August 2006 and a third memorandum of 13 September 2006. When the Minister did not respond to the third memorandum,
  21. 21. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 21 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 Mr Pikoli sent the notification to Treasury in compliance with s 47(2) on 24 November 2006. 25. The enquiry correctly held that Mr Pikoli cannot be faulted for notifying Treasury. They were by law obliged to do so “without delay”. It merely commented that Mr Pikoli should have advised the Minister that he was proceeding to do so. It added that this incident took place in November 2006 and had never been raised with Mr Pikoli as a complaint before. 26 26. We submit that this finding is trivial. We dealt with it from page 112 in paragraphs 210 to 227 of our final submissions to the enquiry. Mr Pikoli might have advised the Minister, as a matter of courtesy but no more, that he was proceeding to give the notice which the law required to be given “without delay”. But the Minister cannot complain of discourtesy in the light of the disdain she displayed for Mr Pikoli’s repeated representations over a period of many months. The search at the Union Buildings 27. The enquiry expressed mild criticism of three aspects of Mr Pikoli’s conduct in relation to the search of the Deputy President’s offices at the Union Buildings in August 2005. The DSO did the search as part of the nationwide searches of premises associated with the former Deputy President Mr Zuma. We described these events in our final submissions in the enquiry from page 62 in paragraphs 99 to 116. 26 Report p 8 para 11.4, p 112 paras 169 to 170 and p 197 paras 323 to 324
  22. 22. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 22 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 28. The team responsible for the investigation of the case against Mr Zuma obtained warrants to search more than 20 premises associated with Mr Zuma countrywide. One of the warrants was for a search of Mr Zuma’s former offices at the Union Buildings when he was Deputy President. After the warrants had been obtained but before they were executed, Mr Pikoli called successively on the President, the Deputy President, the Minister of Justice and the DG in the Presidency Reverend Chikane, to inform them of the impending search and to make sure that all the arrangements were in place for its due and proper execution. None of them raised any objections, reservations or pre-conditions at the time. Mr Pikoli and Reverend Chikane agreed that Mr Pikoli would deputise a member of his staff Advocate Nel to liaise with Reverend Chikane to put all the practical arrangements in place. They in fact did so and Mr Nel reported to Mr Pikoli that he had met with Reverend Chikane and that they had made all the necessary arrangements for the search. 29. The enquiry held that Mr Pikoli should have informed the Minister of his intention to apply for the search warrant before it was issued. It said that his failure to do so was “a dereliction of duty on his part”. 27 We dealt with this complaint from page 62 in paragraphs 101 to 105 of our final submissions in the enquiry. We submit that the complaint is absurd. Mr Pikoli informed the Minister of the warrants before they were executed. He did so at a time when their execution was still entirely under his control. He could still address any objection, reservation or pre-condition the Minister might raise. He would have been in a no better position to do so if he had informed the Minister of the plan before the warrants were issued. The Minister did not complain or suggest there was any 27 Report p 10 para 11.9 and p 140 para 222
  23. 23. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 23 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 reason to delay the execution of the warrants. She did not raise any objection, reservation or pre-condition at all. The complaint some three years later can clearly not be taken seriously. The enquiry’s criticism is a stark manifestation of its partiality to the Minister. 30. The second point of criticism raised by the enquiry was that Mr Pikoli did not do enough to ensure the security of the documents of the Presidency. It accepted however that there had not in fact been any breach of security during the search at the Union Buildings. 28 Its criticism was unfair and again a manifestation of the enquiry’s inclination to be overly protective of the Presidency. We addressed this complaint from page 64 in paragraphs 106 to 116 of our closing submissions to the enquiry. The facts were that Mr Pikoli agreed with Reverend Chikane that he would deputise Mr Nel to meet with Mr Chikane to make all the practical arrangements for the search including all the security arrangements. Mr Nel reported back to him that he had met with Reverend Chikane and that they had put all the necessary arrangements in place. Mr Pikoli had no reason to think that anything more needed to be done. Mr Nel explained that there was in fact never any security risk at all. The only people who were given access to classified documents were two DSO officers with top security clearances. 31. The enquiry lastly suggested that the search warrant was not justified or appropriate in that the DSO could have obtained the documents from the Presidency on request without resort to a search warrant. 29 But the government never raised this complaint and Mr Pikoli was never called upon to address it. It 28 Report p 10 para 11.9, p 148 para 231 and p 202 para 339 29 Report p 141 paras 223 to 225
  24. 24. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 24 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 is unfair to criticise him without affording him an opportunity to address the criticism. We submit that the criticism is unfounded. A criminal investigation of charges against an individual is not subject to the requirements of co-operative government in s 41 of the Constitution relating to intergovernmental disputes. On the contrary, when the DSO undertakes searches countrywide of both high government offices and private premises, it is important that they act and are seen to act without fear, favour or prejudice. 32. We submit that to suggest today, that Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office is suspect because of these minor aspects of a search undertaken three years ago, is both unfair and absurd. It is a manifestation of government’s attempt to justify Mr Pikoli’s suspension after the event when it was in fact done without justification and for an ulterior purpose. The Malawi investigation 33. The DPP of Malawi sent a request to Mr Pikoli for assistance with their investigation of a plot to assassinate the President of Malawi. The request was for a mundane inquiry to determine whether the suspects had stayed at a particular hotel on a particular day. Mr Pikoli quite properly referred the request to the DG for Justice in terms of s 7(1) of the International Co-Operation in Criminal Matters Act 75 of 1996. The matter was thereafter handled under the control and direction of the DG for Justice in accordance with the ICCM Act.
  25. 25. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 25 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 34. We dealt with these events from page 86 in paragraphs 149 to 162 of our final submissions in the enquiry. We submit that Mr Pikoli’s handling of the matter was flawless and entirely in accordance with the ICCM Act. 35. The enquiry however criticised Mr Pikoli for not informing the Minister of the information he had received of the plot to assassinate the President of Malawi. 30 We submit that the criticism is unfounded: 35.1. Mr Pikoli was obliged to deal with the Malawian request for mutual legal assistance in accordance with s 7(1) of the ICCM Act. It provides that such a request “shall be submitted to the Director-General”, that is, the DG of Justice. That is precisely what Mr Pikoli did. 35.2. Mr Pikoli was entitled to assume that the DG for Justice will take whatever action needed to be taken on the request. To suggest that he should have taken the initiative to do so is quite unfair. 35.3. Mr Pikoli was entitled to assume that the DG for Justice will deal with the request in accordance with the ICCM Act. It provides in s 7(4) that the DG “shall … submit the request … to the Minister”. Mr Pikoli was accordingly entitled to assume that the DG for Justice will convey the request including its disclosure of the Malawian plot to the Minister. There was no need for him to inform her of it. 30 Report p 127 para 196, p 129 para 198 and p 199 paras 330 to 331
  26. 26. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 26 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 35.4. That is in fact what happened. On 2 August 2006 the Department of Justice reported to Mr Pikoli that the Minister’s “approval in terms of s 7 of the International Co-Operation in Criminal Matters Act … to render the necessary legal assistance to the Malawian authorities has been obtained”. Mr Pikoli was entitled to conclude that the DG had told the Minister of the request as he was obliged to do. The DG indeed confirmed that he had referred the request to the Minister and that she had given her approval for the investigation in terms of s 7(4) of the ICCM Act. The Browse Mole Report 36. A DSO operative undertook an intelligence gathering exercise on which he reported in July 2006. His report became known as the Browse Mole Report. He should not have done the investigation because it was an intelligence gathering exercise beyond the mandate of the DSO. It is common cause that Mr Pikoli was not aware and did not authorise the investigation. The Head of the DSO Mr McCarthy first told him about it in March 2006. Mr McCarthy gave him a preliminary draft of the report but told him that it was “work-in-progress” and suggested that he file it and await the final report. The investigation had been completed but the process of writing the report was still underway. Mr Pikoli accepted Mr McCarthy’s advice. He received the final report from Mr McCarthy in July 2006. He studied the report and immediately told Mr McCarthy that it was not a matter in which the DSO should be involved at all. He reported the matter to the DG’s of SASS and the NIA and gave them copies of the report. We
  27. 27. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 27 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 describe these matters from page 80 in paragraphs 140 to 148 of our final submissions in the enquiry. 37. The enquiry criticised three aspects of Mr Pikoli’s conduct. It said firstly that Mr Pikoli “should have stopped any further investigation and prevented the Head of the DSO from proceeding with the finalisation of the report” when he received the draft in March 2006. 31 This criticism is in the first place based on a misconception. Mr Pikoli testified that the investigation had been completed by the time he was first told of it in March 2006. All that remained was for the report to be completed. The suggestion that Mr Pikoli should have stopped the finalisation of the report is new and startling. Nobody ever suggested anything of the kind in the hearing. Mr Pikoli has never had an opportunity to respond to it. We are still at a loss to understand why Mr Pikoli should have stopped the finalisation of the report. 38. The enquiry secondly criticised Mr Pikoli for only reporting the matter to SASS, NIA and the Minister after he had received the final report in July 2006. It said he should have done so when he received the preliminary draft report in March 2006 because it is “not beyond reason to surmise that the preliminary report would have indicated the gravity of the issues that were ultimately reflected in the final report”. 32 But this speculative criticism is unfair. It suggests that Mr Pikoli should have taken more seriously a preliminary draft of the report of which he was told at the time that it was mere work-in-progress which he should not take seriously until he received the final report. There is absolutely no basis for the enquiry’s 31 Report p 9 para 11.6, p 116 para 180, p 119 para 186 and p 198 paras 326 and 328 32 Report p 9 para 11.6, p 119 para 186 and p 197 paras 326 and 328
  28. 28. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 28 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 conclusion that he should despite this advice have taken the preliminary draft report more seriously. 39. The enquiry lastly suggested that Mr Pikoli should have reprimanded Mr McCarthy for allowing the investigation to be done and for failing to co-operate with the presidential investigation into the report. 33 The enquiry recognised that Mr Pikoli did not have the power to discipline the Head of the DSO as only the President had the power to do so. 34 Mr Pikoli also made it clear that he had expressed his disapproval of the matter to Mr McCarthy in the strongest terms. To suggest that Mr Pikoli had a further duty to reprimand the Head of the DSO when he had no power to do so and would be intruding upon the prerogative of the President, is not only wrong but also irresponsible. The Selebi arrest and prosecution 40. The DSO investigators responsible for the investigation of Mr Selebi tried without success from early 2007 to obtain certain documents they required for their investigation from SAPS. At Mr Pikoli’s request, the President intervened in May 2007 and directed SAPS to give the DSO the documents they required. They set up a mechanism for the issue to be resolved. It was however to no avail. The DSO’s efforts to obtain the documents failed and culminated in a meeting with SAPS on 4 June 2007 where SAPS told the DSO to go to court and obtain search warrants rather than continue their efforts at co-operation. That was what the DSO then decided to do. Mr Pikoli and the entire investigation team first 33 Report p 119 para 185 34 Report p 118 para 185
  29. 29. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 29 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 briefed the Minister in June 2007. Mr McCarthy briefed Reverend Chikane in July 2007. 35 Mr Pikoli attempted to get an appointment with the President to report these matters to him but the earliest appointment he could get was for Saturday 15 September 2007. 41. The enquiry criticised aspects of Mr Pikoli’s handling of this matter. We will deal with each of its points of criticism. We addressed all of them in our final submissions to the enquiry from page 29 in paragraphs 47 to 70, page 45 paragraphs 84 to 86 and page 54 paragraphs 87 to 91. 42. The enquiry firstly criticised Mr Pikoli for not informing the DG of the Presidency of the stalemate in the DSO’s interaction with SAPS before resorting to search warrants to obtain the evidence they sought. 36 The enquiry put it as follows: “I can understand the frustration of the DSO at the difficulties being placed in their way which prevented them gaining access to documents that were necessary to facilitate their investigations. I am therefore not able to find fault with the fact that the DSO ultimately decided that the warrants for search and seizure was the only available avenue. However, there is no reason why Advocate Pikoli did not inform the DG:Presidency that his intervention was unsuccessful before proceeding to obtain the warrants.” 37 35 Mr Pikoli was absent from the office during July and early August 2007 as a result of the death of his mother. 36 Report p 162 para 256 and p 203 para 343 37 Report p 161 para 256
  30. 30. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 30 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 43. But this criticism is based on a misconception of the facts and is in any event unfair: 43.1. After the DSO had decided to apply for search warrants, Mr Pikoli arranged for the investigating team to brief the Minister in June 2007. They told the Minister at the very least that they had decided to prosecute Mr Selebi and to apply for warrants to search his home and office. Mr Nel’s recollection is that he also made it clear to the Minister that they would seek a warrant for Mr Selebi’s arrest. Mr Pikoli recorded this account in his letter to the Minister on 19 September 2007: “At this meeting it was stated clearly that a decision had been made to prosecute Mr Selebi and that the DSO was essentially tying up loose ends in the investigation and preparing for an arrest coupled with a search of Mr Selebi’s residence and the SAPS head office.” 43.2. It was the Minister’s duty as part of her function of exercising “final responsibility” over the NPA to report these developments to the President and her colleagues in cabinet. She apparently did not do so but that was her failure. 43.3. Mr Pikoli was absent from the office during July and early August following the death of his mother. During this period Mr McCarthy reported to Reverend Chikane that SAPS had failed to co-operate as the President had directed them to do.
  31. 31. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 31 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 43.4. Mr Pikoli and the DSO exhausted the mechanism created under the President’s direction. The enquiry did not suggest otherwise. It merely suggested that, if Mr Pikoli had informed Reverend Chikane that the mechanism had failed, “this might have yielded other alternative strategies to access the documents”. We know as a matter of fact however that Mr McCarthy told Reverend Chikane that the mechanism had failed and that he did nothing about it. The enquiry’s speculation that telling him “might have yielded other alternative strategies” is contradicted by the facts and is in any event sheer speculation. 43.5. The enquiry’s criticism is based on its understanding that “the Constitution expects that organs of state must assist one another and that every reasonable effort to settle a dispute between two organs of state by means of mechanisms such as the one devised by the President must be exhausted before approaching a court of law.” But we submit with respect that this is based on a misconception of law. The DSO did not resort to litigation to resolve a dispute with SAPS. It merely invoked its ordinary powers of search and seizure under an order issued by a judge of the High Court in pursuit of a criminal investigation of an individual citizen, albeit that he was the National Commissioner of Police. 44. It is common cause that Mr Pikoli told the Minister of the warrants before they were executed. The enquiry’s second point of criticism was that he should have informed the Minister of their intention to seek the warrants before they were
  32. 32. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 32 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 issued. 38 We fully addressed this suggestion in our final submissions in the enquiry from page 45 in paragraphs 84 to 86. We emphasize that Mr Pikoli reported to the Minister before the execution of the warrants at a time when he still had complete control over their execution. He could still determine whether the warrants should be executed at all and if so, when it should be done. If the Minister had raised any legitimate reservation or concern about their execution, he could allow for it. She did not, as a matter of fact, raise any reservation or concern at all. The complaint that Mr Pikoli ought to have reported to her earlier before the warrants had been issued, is quite unfounded and irrational. 45. The enquiry’s last point of criticism arises from Mr Pikoli’s conversation with the President on Saturday 15 September 2007. Mr Pikoli informed the President of the plans to arrest Mr Selebi and search his premises. The President asked Mr Pikoli to hold back the execution of the warrants for two weeks to give him an opportunity to make the necessary arrangements. Mr Pikoli responded that two weeks were “rather too long” but that he would be prepared “to hold back at least for a week so that an enabling environment is created”. The President raised the issue again the following day. When Mr Pikoli stuck to his suggestion of a week, the President asked him whether he knew how angry the police were and that some police officers were prepared to defy any court order. 46. The enquiry seems to suggest that, when the President asked Mr Pikoli to suspend the execution of the warrants for two weeks, he should blindly have agreed to do so without question. It criticizes Mr Pikoli for giving the President 38 Report p 11 para 11, p 186 paras 299 to 300 and p 204 paras 344 to 345
  33. 33. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 33 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 only a week to make the necessary arrangements. 39 We addressed this complaint in our final submissions in the enquiry from page 54 in paragraphs 87 to 91. 47. The following factors must be borne in mind in the evaluation of this complaint: 47.1. The President did not motivate his request for two weeks in any way. We still do not know what his motivation was. 47.2. When Mr Pikoli suggested one week instead, the President did not engage with him on the adequacy of his suggestion. He did not say that a week would not be enough. The impression he created was that he would have preferred two weeks but that a week would do. 47.3. There is no reason to believe that the President was overly concerned about the matter. After his weekend meetings with Mr Pikoli, he wrote to the Minister on Monday 17 September 2007 for information “regarding the intended arrest and prosecution of the National Commissioner” to “enable me to take such informed decisions as may be necessary with regard to the National Commissioner”. He made no suggestion that he had been given insufficient time to make the “informed decisions” he had to make. 47.4. If the President was concerned about the adequacy of the week, he would have conveyed his concerns to the Minister who would have 39 Report p 13 para 17, p 187 para 301 and p 208 paras 352 to 357
  34. 34. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 34 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 raised them with Mr Pikoli in their meetings and correspondence in the course of the following week. But none of that happened despite the fact that Mr Pikoli made it clear in his letter to the Minister on the Wednesday 19 September 2007 that he was acutely aware of the need for the President to create an enabling environment for the execution of the warrants: “A possible investigation and arrest of the National Commissioner of SAPS would clearly affect the national interest and it was vital that the President be placed in a position to take whatever steps necessary to protect the national interest or avoid embarrassment to the country.” 47.5. If the President found that the week was insufficient to enable him to make the arrangements that had to be made, he would have said so towards the end of the week and would have arranged an extension of it. The fact that he did not do so, can only mean that the week was sufficient after all. 47.6. When the Minister asked Mr Pikoli to resign on Sunday afternoon 23 September 2007, she did not suggest that it had anything to do with his failure to allow the President more time to create an enabling environment. She would have done so if it was a real concern at the time. 47.7. When the President suspended Mr Pikoli, he did not say or suggest in their meeting or in his letter of suspension that it had anything to do with Mr Pikoli’s failure to accommodate the need for an enabling
  35. 35. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 35 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 environment. He would have done so if it was a real complaint at the time. 47.8. Government never raised this complaint in their public statements after Mr Pikoli’s suspension, in their founding statement in the enquiry, in their supporting affidavits or even in their affidavits in reply. The DG in the Presidency filed two affidavits but neither of them suggested any unhappiness about Mr Pikoli’s reluctance to delay the execution of the warrants for more than a week. 48. The enquiry’s criticism is in any event overblown and exaggerated. It says that Mr Pikoli’s attitude to the President’s request for a delay of two weeks, “evinces a lack of appreciation for the sensitivities that are attendant on matters that may impact on national security. It illustrates a lack of respect for the President’s constitutional obligation to maintain stability and national security, and it suggests that Advocate Pikoli believed his own assessment of the security environment superior to that of the President.” 40 It says in the same vein that it was “incumbent on Advocate Pikoli to respect the President’s assessment of the time that would be necessary” 41 . 49. The enquiry’s view seems to be that Mr Pikoli’s sin was his failure to agree blindly and without question to the President’s mere request for two weeks made without any motivation or explanation. The mere fact of the President’s request should 40 Report p 187 para 301 41 Report p 209 para 355
  36. 36. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 36 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 have sufficed. Mr Pikoli should immediately and blindly have agreed to it, whether justified or not, simply because the President asked for it. 50. We submit with respect that the enquiry is quite wrong. The Constitution and the NPA Act do not require the NDPP to interact with the President in such obsequious fashion. It would be a dereliction of his duties to act in such an obsequious manner as the enquiry suggests he should have done. He made it quite clear that he was acutely aware of the need for the President to create an enabling environment. He would have accommodated any reasonable request on that score. He was however entitled to assume that his counter-proposal of a week was sufficient because the President would have remonstrated or at least engaged him on it if it were not. Mr Pikoli’s understanding of broader considerations 51. The enquiry expressed concern about Mr Pikoli’s apparent lack of understanding “of his responsibility to operate within a strict security environment and to ensure that the NPA, and the DSO, operate in a manner that takes into account the community interest and does not compromise national security”. 42 52. This concern is incidental to the enquiry’s particular criticisms of Mr Pikoli. 43 We have already submitted that those criticisms are unfounded. We submit that the further concern flowing from them is equally unfounded. 42 Report p 207 para 350 43 Report p 207 para 350
  37. 37. PIKOLI / SUBMISSIONS 37 TO THE PRESIDENT 20.11.08 Mr Pikoli is fit for office 53. We have submitted that the enquiry’s criticisms of Mr Pikoli are unfounded. But even if we are wrong and on the assumption that the enquiry’s criticisms are valid, they still do not reflect on Mr Pikoli’s fitness for office. His capacity, integrity and conscientiousness are beyond question. The enquiry concluded that, despite its criticisms, Mr Pikoli should be restored to the office of NDPP. 44 We submit that this conclusion is not only correct but inevitable. None of the criticisms of Mr Pikoli come close to impugning his fitness to hold the office of NDPP. They reflect a mere difference of opinion between the enquiry and Mr Pikoli about the way in which he should perform his functions as NDPP. They do not reflect on his fitness for office at all. Wim Trengove SC Tim Bruinders SC Benny Makola Chambers Sandton 24 November 2008 44 Report p 212 para I

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