Friends want parole for Selebi

2012-01-06 07:30

Two men calling themselves friends of Jackie Selebi have applied for the former national police commissioner to be released on medical parole.

The Star newspaper reported that the two contend that prison was no place for a terminally ill elderly man.

Thabo Lesole and Sipho Thanjekwayo’s arguments are contained in a 10-page letter addressed to correctional services commissioner Tom Moyane.

“We are making a special request and application on the basis of his medical condition and age. Our view is that our correctional centres are not created to punish, but to rehabilitate offenders.”

They said Selebi had suffered enough pain, humiliation and embarrassment.

“We have reason to believe that imprisoning the applicant will not yield any benefit for the country ... instead, the applicant will deteriorate and die a painful death,” the pair wrote.

Correctional services spokesperson Zacharia Modise confirmed receipt of the letter to The Star, saying normal procedure was for a medical parole application to be made by family member, legal representatives or correctional services itself.

He said the department would respond to the men’s letter.

“We received the letter yesterday. The department of correctional services will act on that.”

Selebi was found guilty of corruption in July 2010, and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

He appealed against the sentence and conviction, but the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected his bid to avoid jail.

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