Mbeki questions NPA investigation of Selebi

2015-02-01 15:00

More political pressure has been piled on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after former president Thabo Mbeki yesterday publicly questioned its investigation of disgraced former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

This came as the presidency confirmed that it was going to press ahead with an inquiry into National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana’s fitness to hold office.

President Jacob Zuma has been deliberating whether to press ahead with the inquiry since August, but yesterday, in response to City Press questions, his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, confirmed the probe was going ahead.

Mbeki wrote a tribute to Selebi, who died last week, that was read out at the 64-year-old’s funeral in Pretoria yesterday.

In his tribute, which was read out by veteran diplomat Welile Nhlapo, Mbeki alluded to elements in the country’s law enforcement agencies who, he said, plotted to have Selebi unseated as the country’s top cop.

Mbeki was accused of trying to protect Selebi from prosecution, although he has always vehemently denied this.

In his tribute, Mbeki wrote: “On June 14 2013, at least one of our newspapers quoted an article under the heading: ‘Agliotti: It was me or Selebi.’ The newspaper quoted Mr Glenn Agliotti as having said: ‘In fact, when the Scorpions took me in the foyer of my own house, the officers said I am arresting you for the murder of Brett Kebble and then said that if you give up that top cop Jackie Selebi, we will give you a section 204 immunity.

I asked if I do, who are you going to arrest for killing Kebble then? That’s how obvious the whole plot was that it was never about me, it was never about Kebble, it was a feud between one law enforcement agency wanting to bring down the most powerful policeman in Africa.’”

Mbeki also said he was pleased to read newspaper reports in July last year that the NPA was conducting an internal investigation regarding Selebi’s prosecution.

“It is my fervent hope that the NPA really does indeed carry out an honest and thorough investigation into this matter, and not bury it simply because Jackie will have been buried,” wrote Mbeki.

Mbeki was supported by another speaker at the funeral – ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who urged the NPA to speed up its investigation into the truth behind Selebi’s prosecution.

Meanwhile, City Press has learnt that Nomgcobo Jiba, a deputy director at the NPA, reportedly knew that Zuma had decided to continue with an inquiry into Nxasana before the announcement was made public.

City Press understands that Jiba, who has been involved in a leadership struggle with Nxasana for months, was this week telling NPA employees that Nxasana would soon be suspended.

Yesterday, City Press approached Maharaj to confirm that President Zuma had told Nxasana the probe against him was going ahead.

Maharaj did not respond to City Press’ enquiry, but instead sent a press release confirming the inquiry to other media houses.

But it appears that Jiba, whose then husband was given a presidential pardon by Zuma in 2010, knew about the decision before it was announced.

A senior source, who was sympathetic to Nxasana, told City Press that Jiba had “been going around telling people that this guy [Nxasana] was supposed to be suspended today or this weekend”.

When City Press approached Jiba for comment, she replied with an SMS: “That is absolute rubbish that does not even deserve a further response.”

The move against Nxasana comes against a backdrop of allegations of political meddling in South Africa’s law enforcement agencies. The court battle between Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and the Helen Suzman Foundation over the suspension of Hawks head Anwa Dramat is set to play itself out in the North Gauteng High Court and the Constitutional Court this week.

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