Selebi 'has been unwell for some time'
Charl du Plessis and Adriaan Basson
Johannesburg - Just hours before former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi was due to begin serving his 15-year jail term for corruption, he was still in a hospital bed in a “stable” condition.
Advocate Fanus Coetzee, one of Selebi’s lawyers, said on Saturday that Selebi had been “stabilised” but that he was still waiting for information on what was troubling the former top cop.
On Friday, Selebi reportedly collapsed in shock when he heard that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had confirmed his bribery conviction. Shortly thereafter an ambulance took him to the nearby Jakaranda Hospital.
City Press understands that Selebi recently had kidney dialysis at the hospital, but Coetzee would only say that Selebi had been “unwell for some time”.
There was confusion on Saturday over when Selebi had to present himself to the office of the registrar of the South Gauteng High Court to have a warrant committing him to prison signed by a judge.
Selebi’s 48 hours to report expired at about 10:00 on Sunday.
Coetzee said he had made at least 20 phone calls to the registrar’s office on Friday but could not reach any officials.
As far as he knew, he said, they had all been at a Christmas party.
“I am definitely not going to be taking him out of a hospital bed without the permission of his doctor,” said Coetzee, but he would talk to court officials.
Selebi was found guilty of accepting bribes from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti by the South Gauteng High Court last year.
Agliotti testified against Selebi, but was not granted indemnity from prosecution by Judge Meyer Joffe for his role in the crimes.
When contacted, Agliotti, who returned from a trip to Singapore a few days ago, only said he had “no comment”.
An unanimous bench of the SCA confirmed on Friday that Joffe was correct in accepting the State’s version that Selebi had been bribed by Agliotti.
In a separate but concurring and significant minority ruling, Judge Suretta Snyders found that Selebi had broken the corruption laws by meeting with untrustworthy individuals or their lawyers during working hours.
“In my view, the appellant (Selebi) must have realised that Agliotti’s generosity and the payments he received from him created a dynamic whereby, in his post as head of the nation’s police service, he would be indebted to him and would have to remain willing to do him favours,” Snyders ruled.
She said that Selebi, in his own version, had “abused his position of authority and breached the trust placed in the position that he held” in contravention of the Corruption Act.
It was unnecessary for the state to prove that Selebi did anything in return.
“Strictly speaking, this finding obviates the need to investigate whether the appellant gave any quid pro quo (benefit) for the payments that he received. But, as I have already pointed out, he did,” ruled Snyders.