|The suspension of Vusi Pikoli is deeply
troubling. One is suspicious about this decision. The public's intelligence should not be
underestimated, they know that he was the person who was on the verge of taking vital
decisions on the Arms Deal/Zuma, TRC related prosecutions and the Brett Kebble murder. The
reasons for Pikoli's suspension advanced thus far are non-sensical. President Mbeki must
explain how on earth he can remove the person who must take such important decisions and
then cite such flimsy reasons.
The problem with the ANC's deployment policy of appointing cadres to key state positions is that when ruling party infighting becomes endemic, as it is now, then there is pressure from certain factions to act against certain people who occupy important positions in the state.
The question is whether President Mbeki satisfied himself that there really is such an "irretrievable breakdown" in the relationship between Pikoli and the Minister of Justice, or did he simply take one person's side irrespective of the facts? When deployed cadres begin to demonstrate independence there are always some sort of accusation, such as rumours that they are spies.
Increasingly we see that problems in government are a reflection of the ruling party's problems. It is like peeling an onion; peel back one layer of apparent Government problems and you find another layer of reasons and motivations underneath that are entirely related to ruling party politics. State institutions are so highly politicised now that this scenario has repeated itself several times, such as in Intelligence, Health and many Local Governments.
The whole question of the intelligence gathering capacity of the Scorpions continues to be thrown into the equation as a red herring. It is non-sensical to say the Scorpions should not gather intelligence; the argument does not hold water. We know for instance that the intelligence gathered by the Scorpions has been discussed at Cabinet level, such as in the attempted coup plans of Messrs Thatcher, Mann and others. How should the Scorpions capture and prosecute organised drug lords and armed robbers if they cannot gather intelligence?
It is clear that Pikoli is on his way out; the investigation is just a mere formality. It has now been proven for the umpteenth time that there is no such thing as independent thinking being tolerated by the ruling party.