Read this interaction between the former boss of the supposedly INDEPENDENT body, the National Prosecuting Authority and Mbeki's meddling in its constitutionally mandated duties and then you will understand why South Africa has taken a huge leap backwards under Mbeki’s rule.
The sooner we shunt this idiot to the kerb the better.
- - - - -
Suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli told President Thabo Mbeki that he would be on "thin ice" by suspending him, the inquiry into Pikoli's fitness to hold office heard on Wednesday.
"I said 'Mr President, I think you are on thin ice because those issues you raised touch on the core competencies of the National Prosecuting Authority," Pikoli said as he related the events of his last week in office in September 2007.
He said he had always felt that he was on solid Constitutional and legal ground which guaranteed the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority and allowed him to work "without fear, favour or prejudice, or the President" to take decisions relating to prosecutions.
He did not believe that a breakdown in relations between him and Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla, or his giving testimony at the Khampepe Commission on the future location of the Scorpions, was the reason for his suspension. Nor was it his lack of appreciation of national security matters.
'Mr President, I think you are on thin ice'
"I believe, and honestly so, that there is only one reason for my suspension and that is the investigation and prosecution of the national commissioner of the police service," he said during his long awaited testimony.
His first knowledge of the Selebi affair came when Gauteng director of public prosecutions Charin de Beer told him of concerns that Selebi had phoned the number of a "friend" spotted in the investigation file of mining entrepreneur Brett Kebble's murder.
"And the friend happened to be Mr Glenn Agliotti," testified Pikoli.
Selebi, who is on special leave, has made two court appearances in relation to allegations that he received money from drug trafficker and Brett Kebble murder accused Glenn Agliotti.
Pikoli said he was also told that there had been telephonic contact between Kebble, Agliotti, Kebble murder co-accused Clinton Nassif and Selebi before Kebble's murder.
During the ensuing investigation he said he initiated and held numerous briefings involving Mabandla and Mbeki, which included showing them an affidavit.
He also told them the NPA could not get the police to release documents related to the Selebi investigation in spite of a personal request to Selebi by Mbeki.
At the urging of Mbeki, Pikoli met Selebi to discuss the allegations and the two wept as he asked his old friend difficult questions.
"We cried on each other's shoulders in that meeting and I told him that I believed him when he said he never received the money," said Pikoli.
However, Pikoli did not find his explanations on other matters convincing.
After a meeting in August 2006, a unanimous decision was taken by him and his deputy directors to apply for search warrants to get the outstanding documents as well as an arrest warrant.
They were obtained on September 14 for Selebi's home and office and he told Mabandla, who was "calm" about it, and Mbeki.
"The president appeared shocked, and was not happy with the fact that we had obtained those warrants. Firstly because he felt that the process was still underway (to get the police to voluntarily provide the documents)."
Mbeki asked him to hold off on executing the warrants for two weeks, but Pikoli said he would give Mbeki a week to create an "enabling" environment.
"My mind also went back to 2005 when we had ugly stuff at the residence of Mr Jacob Zuma. And considering the fact that we were now going to have warrants executed against the national commissioner of police, who... had men under arms. There could be a potentially explosive situation."
The options for Mbeki were to suspend Selebi so that he would not be in command of armed people while being arrested, or a meeting with police over the execution of the warrants.
That evening he prepared a report on the investigation, as suggested by presidency director general Frank Chikane, and gave it to Mbeki the next day, a Sunday. He also prepared a report for Mabandla on Wednesday evening.
That night, he said, she had a "tirade" over the phone with him which he felt was disrespectful to him and insulted the memory of his recently deceased mother.
He gave her the report on Thursday but she said it did not contain anything new.
On Sunday they met at the Union Buildings and she apologised for the telephone exchange, and asked him to resign, which he refused.
"She said there was a breakdown of relations, of trust, between the two of us. She said 'Vusi, it's all about trust, no, it's all about integrity. I will talk one day'."
Later on the same day, September 23, he met Mbeki and told him that resigning would be lying to the nation and that he should not have to resign because of the rule of law and independence of prosecutors.
"Because we would be saying it was voluntary when it fact this would have been imposed on me by somebody else."
Mbeki discussed suspension with him, which he agreed to and while Chikane was preparing the letter he asked Mbeki why he was being suspended.
"Vusi, it's about interpretation and also about the plea bargains and you entertaining the possibility of granting immunity to criminals."
He told the inquiry that dealing with large scale organised crime sometimes involved reaching plea bargain agreements to catch the main players and that it was in the interests of national security to take an investigation into a police chief very seriously.