Selebi lawyers arrive at court

2011-12-05 08:44

Former police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s legal team arrived at the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg shortly after it opened today.

They were looking for a reprieve from the requirement that Selebi begin his 15-year prison sentence for corruption immediately, as he was ill.

His attorney Wynanda Coetzee said they would not be making any statements at the moment.

It was an administrative matter and a court session was not required.

Selebi’s appeal against his fraud conviction failed on Friday, which meant he was to have begun his prison sentence by yesterday.

Shortly after the decision was announced by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, Selebi, who was at home watching it on television, fell ill and was taken to hospital.

Yesterday his lawyers were following procedures to regularise why he had not reported to jail as expected, while medical professionals established what he was ailing from.

Some media reports stated Selebi had a stroke, while others said he was suffering from a diabetes-related condition.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption for accepting money from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti and giving Agliotti benefits such as showing him a British drug investigation report.

Selebi was also president of Interpol.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Selebi’s lawyers had approached them on Saturday to say he might not be able to present himself to correctional services yesterday.

They were told to approach the court registrar for this.Afrikaans daily Beeld reported Coetzee as saying: “If the order is that he must go to jail, then that will happen.”

Asset Forfeiture Unit head Willie Hofmeyr told SABC radio news the money paid to Selebi amounted to about R165 000.

“We’ve already obtained a confiscation order. We are waiting for the finalisation of the appeals and then that money will be payable. Our law entitles us to adjust those to inflation, so the total order we obtained [was] for about R230 000,” Hofmeyr told the broadcaster.

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