Monday, July 30, 2012

Selebi case like a crime novel

By Karen Allan BBC News, Johannesburg Continue reading the main story Related Stories Former SA police chief convicted Ex-Interpol man denies corruption SA abolishes crime-fighting unit The trial of Jackie Selebi - South Africa's first black police chief - has gripped the nation. Sharing the stage in what reads like a John Le Carre novel was a mafia drugs boss, a mining magnate and multi-millionaire Zimbabwean businessman. A witness wept on the stand, there were allegations of money being handed over in brown paper bags and spy games. Intrigue, obfuscation and patronage have characterised the case. In the end though - despite his political links, Selebi has been left crestfallen: Guilty of corruption on an obscene scale. Continue reading the main story JACKIE SELEBI 1987: Head of ANC Youth League 1991: In charge of repatriating ANC exiles 1994: Elected MP 1995: South Africa's ambassador to UN 2000: Appointed police chief 2004: Elected Interpol president 2008: Charged with corruption, resigns as Interpol head, suspended as SA police chief 2009: Denies charges at start of trial 2010: Found guilty of corruption SA's controversial ex-police chief At the end of the case, Judge Meyer Joffe said: "Every day society in general relies on the honesty and truthfulness of policemen and women… It is not an example that must be emulated by members of the Saps [South African Police Service]." As he points out, this case speaks of so much more than Selebi, a man who helped shape the geopolitics of the new South Africa, being seduced by cash, fine dining and gifts of the latest designer suits. It is about cronyism and the politicisation of South Africa's intelligence services as it confronts the fight against crime. When charges were laid against Selebi, it came at one of the most turbulent times in South African politics. It was 2007 and the power struggle between then-President Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, who was to succeed him, was reaching fever pitch. 'Hung out to dry' Selebi enjoyed a close relationship with Mr Mbeki and had thought himself immune from prosecution when questions started emerging about his dubious friendship with Glenn Agliotti - a convicted drug baron. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote Throughout that period we as journalists could mark when our intelligence services began to be politicised and when crime fighting began to be politicised” Journalist Ferial Haffajee But according to Ferial Haffajee, who was the editor of the Mail and Guardian newspaper at the time, Selebi was "hung out to dry". The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which resisted pressure to back down and endured politically inspired changes of personnel at the top, was against the odds finally able to bring the case to court. Selebi, as head of the police, was among those behind the dismantling of the elite investigation unit known as the Scorpions, which under the stewardship of the NPA, was charged with investigating some of the country's biggest crimes. In 2008 when president, Thabo Mbeki suspended Mr Selebi as police chief He claimed that having an elite body separate from the police would undermine the fight against crime and that its officers colluded with Western intelligence agencies bent on undermining South Africa's sovereignty. And in the long competition between the Scorpions and the police, it was the police who won. The Scorpions have now been disbanded and replaced by what many consider a less robust crime fighting team - the Hawks. But Selebi always maintained that he was a victim of "malicious prosecution" because of this rivalry between the two forces. 'No free lunch' "Throughout that period we as journalists could mark when our intelligence services began to be politicised and when crime fighting began to be politicised," says Ms Haffajee. It was then that the "turf war between Scorpions and cops became very damaging", she says. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote We need to ask ourselves as South Africans whether the police have the capability to fight crime and fight corruption in the police” Adriaan Basson, author Although Mr Mbeki is no longer president, there are some serious questions for the current administration. For example on the appointment of political figures to senior positions within the civil service and in particular the police. Adriaan Basson who is writing a book about the Selebi case, has warned President Zuma to take note. "A lot of the people who were protective and loyal to Jackie Selebi are still in the police," warns Mr Basson. "They are also very senior in the intelligence services, and so we need to ask ourselves as South Africans whether the police have the capability to fight crime and fight corruption in the police." Every legal tool was used to try to stall the trial but in the end it proved futile. Judge Joffe concluded there was no evidence of an agreement that Agliotti benefited from his friendship with Selebi - in other words there was no signed contract between them. But Selebi must have known that there is no such thing as a "free lunch", he said. It is a lesson that many are hoping the new South Africa remembers well. More on This Story Related Stories Former SA police chief convicted 02 JULY 2010, AFRICA Ex-Interpol man denies corruption 05 OCTOBER 2009, AFRICA SA abolishes crime-fighting unit 23 OCTOBER 2008, AFRICA SA extends police chief contract 26 JUNE 2008, AFRICA Country profile: South Africa 21 JUNE 2011, COUNTRY PROFILES Related Internet links Mail & Guardian South African Police Service NPA BBC Jackie Selebi and his ANC cronies have now turned the SAPS into a "FOOLS PARADE!" 'Brigadier' draai polisie 'n rat voor die oë 2012-07-29 13:01 Verwante skakels Polisie moet eie kantore skoonmaak Meer as 10 000 polisiebeamptes depressief SAPD waarsku teen fop-polisie in Vrystaat Johannesburg – 'n Bedrieër wat deur die departement van binnelandse sake dood verklaar is, het die polisie laat glo dat hy 'n brigadier van die Valke is, berig die Sunday Independent. Die man is in hegtenis geneem vir verskeie misdade voor hy hom voorgedoen het as 'n polisieman. Hy is selfs toegelaat om polisiemotors en ander hulpbronne te gebruik terwyl hy ander misdadigers ondersoek het. McIntosh Polela, woordvoerder van die Valke, het aan die koerant gesê 'n man wat homself brig. Musa Khumalo noem, word ondersoek. "Hy het 'n uniform in sy besit. In so 'n geval sal juniorbeamptes weinig 'n persoon vra om sy rang te bewys." 'n Lasbrief vir die man se inhegtenisneming is intussen uitgereik. Khumalo beweer hy is deur lt.genl. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, waarnemende polisiehoof, na KwaZulu-Natal gestuur. Volgens die koerant het hy gehelp met die inhegtenisneming van Sibusiso Gcabashe, wat hom voorgedoen het as die ontslape musikant Sibusiso Gcabashe. SAPA SINCE BEING RELEASED FROM PRISON JACKIE SELEBI HAS STOPPED ALL TREATMENT OF HIS TERMINAL SICKNESS........ Selebi daag nie op vir behandeling 2012-07-30 08:46 Verwante skakels Selebi ‘nié voorgetrek’ Selebi het lang lys paroolvoorwaardes Selebi-besluit binne perke van die wet Johannesburg – Jackie Selebi, voormalige polisiekommissaris, het ‘n week lank nie vir dialise-behandeling by die Steve Biko- akademiese hospitaal aangemeld nie, lui ‘n berig. The New Age berig Selebi, wat elke tweede dag dialise moet ondergaan, is ‘n week gelede laas behandel. Die koerant het nie sy bronne bekendgemaak nie. Die koerant het die oud-polisiehoof se huis geskakel en ‘n ongeïdentifiseerde vrou het gesê Selebi sterk by die huis aan. Sy het nie gesê of Selebi ‘n ander mediese fasiliteit vir sy behandeling gekry het nie. Selebi is twee weke gelede mediese parool toegestaan en is nou onder huisarres. Hy is in 2010 op aanklag van korrupsie skuldig bevind en later tot 15 jaar tronkstraf gevonnis. James Selfe, woordvoerder vir die DA, sê dis onwaarskynlik dat Selebi ‘n dialise-masjien by sy huis kan aanhou, aangesien hy die staat R17 miljoen se regsfooie skuld. “Ek dink nie dis moontlik vir hom om die behandeling by die huis te kry nie, aangesien die dialise-masjiene wat hulle gebruik, baie duur is.” Luidens die berig is dit moontlik dat Selebi sy polisie- mediese fonds gebruik om dialise by ‘n ander gesondheidsfasiliteit te kry. SAPA Comments by Sonny HOW LONG CAN THE ANC LAST BEFORE IT IMPLODES?

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