Selebi still has police guards

2009-08-15 00:00

PRETORIA — The former chief of police, Jackie Selebi, will enjoy police protection at his home until the end of August, when a re-evaluation of any threat against him will be done, to determine whether further protection is necessary.

This was how national police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo responded this week to complaints by members of the public about the number of police officers who were clearly still on the job at Selebi’s home.

Selebi lives in the upmarket suburb of Waterkloof Ridge, east of Pretoria.

According to Naidoo, the same privileges are extended to the director-general of any state department or equal appointment such as that of police commissioner.

“A director-general can ask for police protection at any time should he feel threatened.

“The police will then evaluate the situation and assign a particular number of police officials to him.

“This is usually valid for the duration of his term in office, as well as the first month after the termination thereof — as is now the case with Selebi.

“At the end of the month — should Selebi make the request — his safety situation and the level of threat against him can be re-evaluated,” said Naidoo.

“If necessary, we can then extend his protection.

“There is nothing strange regarding this arrangement, as the police guidelines make provision for such protection.”

Selebi does not have to vacate the home, since it is owned by him and his wife.

Commissioner Bheki Cele, the new chief of police, lives quite close to Selebi in a luxury guest house, which costs about R1 500 per day, according to informed sources.

Nonkululeko Mbatha, Cele’s personal spokesperson, on Thursday said he was living in the guest house while negotiations were under way to find a house for him in Pretoria.

“His office has already been in contact with the department of Public Works to get that process going. “Unfortunately it is impossible to sort the situation out within 24 hours, since certain particular (administrative) processes have to be followed,” said Mbatha.

Cele moved from KwaZulu-Natal to Pretoria at the beginning of this month to start work as the new chief of police.

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