Ramatlhodi: Apartheid alive, well in SA

2015-01-30 06:11
Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi. (Muhahid Safodien, AFP)

Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi. (Muhahid Safodien, AFP)

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Pretoria - The apartheid system continues to thrive in South Africa, Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said in Pretoria on Thursday.

"No newspaper wrote about the treatment comrade Jackie (Selebi) was receiving. He passed on while I was abroad but I have learnt that his foes ran short of saying he faked his own death, in their commentary to the media," said Ramatlhodi.

Speaking on behalf of the ANC, Ramatlhodi was addressing hundreds of people at the former police chief's memorial service at the Tshwane Events Centre.

"Those amongst us who may have believed that apartheid is dead and buried are living in fool's paradise. It is alive and well, having changed only the form of its existence," said Ramatlhodi.

"When it strikes, it strikes with the same old ferocity. As time passes on, it is growing in confidence (and) ready to take advantage of our subjective weaknesses."

The ANC announced this week that it would pick up the tab for Selebi's funeral and memorial service.

Selebi died on Friday aged 64. He had reportedly suffered from diabetes and kidney problems.

Selebi was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on August 3, 2010, for taking bribes from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.

The former head of Interpol started serving his sentence in 2011, after being found guilty of corruption in 2010. He was released from Pretoria Central Prison on medical parole less than a year later.

Ramatlhodi said "with or without a card" Selebi remained a full member of the ANC. He said Selebi was "one of the finest cadres and leaders".

"The one we are commemorating here is one of our own, a member of the ANC in good standing," said Ramatlhodi.

Ramatlhodi was deputy minister of correctional services when Selebi was released on parole. He said that while in prison, Selebi was treated with dignity. "To the officers in correctional services, the ANC is deeply appreciative of the way they treated comrade Jackie during the short period of his incarceration," he said.

"They treated him with the dignity that he deserves, the general that he was. I am sure comrade Jackie is missed by lots in the (police) force."

Former foreign affairs deputy minister Aziz Pahad said Selebi was highly respected in the diplomatic community.

"Jackie was human. Like all of us he may have made mistakes and errors of judgment. Jackie's contribution will never be forgotten. He will remain an outstanding colleague," said Pahad.

Selebi served in different international relations posts including being South African ambassador and permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Born in Johannesburg in 1950, Selebi was married to Anne and had two children.

In the apartheid-era 1980s, he served in Budapest, Hungary, as a representative of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. In 1987, he was elected head of the ANC Youth League and was a member of the party's national executive committee.

In 1991, as the end of apartheid seemed nigh, Selebi became responsible for the repatriation of ANC exiles.

After the first democratic elections in 1994, he was elected to Parliament.

His stature grew further after he left, in 1995, to represent the country in Geneva.

Three years later, he was presented with the International Service for Human Rights Award for his chairing of the 54th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and for the way he presided over a 1997 diplomatic conference on anti-personnel mines in Oslo.

In 1999, Selebi returned to South Africa and took up the post of foreign affairs director-general.

Read more on:    ngoako ramatlhodi  |  jackie selebi

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