Selebi will report to prison, even if sick

2011-12-03 08:33

Johannesburg - Jackie Selebi will report to correctional services in Johannesburg to start serving his 15-year prison sentence on Monday.

Selebi’s lawyer, Wynanda Coetzee, said on Friday that he will report, “even if he’s seriously sick in hospital … even if he has to be transferred to the prison hospital’’.

The disgraced former police commissioner collapsed at his home after hearing, on television, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) confirm his corruption conviction.

Selebi was admitted to a Pretoria hospital, where he is in a stable condition, said Coetzee. He has been ill for some time.


Analyst Sipho Seepe said he may have collapsed because he had not faced up the reality of how damning the evidence was against him, and so had not prepared himself for the possibility of going to jail.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption in July last year for receiving benefits from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

His appeal against his conviction failed on Friday when all five judges on the appeals bench unanimously upheld his conviction.

Garreth Newman of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said such a unanimous decision is unusual, and that one or two judges often have dissenting view.

“In this case their ruling was unanimous, confirming his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

SCA Judge Kenneth Mthiyane said the court found the annotations “cash JS”, “A”, “cash cop”, and “cash chief” on cheque counterfoils referred to Selebi. They rejected the submission that the cheques were for an ill policeman Agliotti was helping to support.

“This court also accepted that the words ‘cop’, c-o-p and ‘JS’ referred to the appellant,” said Mthiyane.

“On all the evidence contained in 66 volumes amounting to more than 600 pages that we had to wade through in this application for appeal, we are satisfied that the high court was correct in finding that the applicant did receive payment from Agliotti,” he added.

Selebi received payment from Agliotti on four occasions. These include payments of R110 000, R30 000 and R10 000, as well as an unspecified amount of US dollars.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the State never had any doubt the judgment would be in the its favour. “We had a very strong case and argument.”


Analyst Mary de Haas called Selebi an excessively foolish man who fell into a trap that was set for him.

“I don’t think he is a bad person, but you have to ask why was he convicted and not Agliotti. He was asking for trouble getting involved with the likes Agliotti. He should have known better.”

With Selebi in hospital questions are being raised whether the country will see a scenario similar to that of paroled fraudster Schabir Shaik, who spent most of his jail time in hospital.

Mhaga said that even if Selebi tries to take the matter further, the State will oppose the move.

Trade union federation Cosatu said Selebi’s time in jail will remind corrupt people that crime does not pay. It is regrettable that a man with an impeccable record in the struggle against apartheid is going to spend 15 years in prison “for accepting R166 000, a small sum compared to the amounts others are looting from the state through tenderpreneurship activities”, Cosatu said.

“Nevertheless, in Cosatu’s view, corruption is as bad as apartheid was. Both are based on marginalising the poor, most of whom are black in general and Africans in particular,” the union federation said.

DA spokesperson on police Dianne Kohler Barnard said she will write to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to find out what he will do to recover the R17.4m that the state spent on Selebi’s defence.

A justice department spokesperson said they will meet Selebi’s lawyers to discuss repayment options.

Asked what would happen if Selebi could not pay back the money, the department’s Tlali Tlali said, “We will follow normal debt recovery processes.”

Newman of the ISS said the Selebi verdict shows that South Africa’s criminal justice system is strong enough to prosecute powerful people. “Former president Thabo Mbeki did everything in his power to protect Selebi. He went as far as firing the former national director of public prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli.

“Despite this political interference, the criminal justice system prevailed,” Newman said.


  • Michael - 2011-12-03 08:42

    This is now "Finished and Klaar" Where's is your arrogance now you crook?

      Thanani - 2011-12-03 10:43

      Jackie Selebi was corrupt, I just feel that 15 years is just too much for R166 000. Some murders and rapists don't even get 10 years from the same criminal justice. There is more to this story. What about Aglioti? He was supposed to be charged as an accomplice. There are always two or more parties to a deal. Hey, corruption is bad, but those who looted billions through tenders are free. I wonder where we are heading.

      Ryan - 2011-12-03 11:34

      what about Thabo Mbeki. how corrupt of him to try and protect a guilty man and fire an innocent man (Vusi Pikoli) to try and protect Selebi. we havent had any president since Mandela with true moral fibre.

      adrien.mcguire - 2011-12-03 15:51

      @ Thanini. you are partially right , that the sentance is harsh, but he was in the ultimate position as Chief of Police, a position of trust. He was also the head of Interpol. He has not only disgraced himself he has also disgraced the country. The list of people , like Gerald Majola etc, must face the same fate as they have disgraced the country. You are also right that the corruption with tenders etc must be eradicated from this country, and the only way is to impose harsh sentances.

  • Larry - 2011-12-03 08:42

    Good, as long as he does not appear on a Golf Course or in a Hospital in the coming months.

  • Cracker - 2011-12-03 08:57

    Straight to the hospital section? Blikskottel, they are clever. All planned. Not even a single day in regular prison.

      nspaynter - 2011-12-03 09:20

      The hospital section is in a regular prison. He gets the same treatment as any other prisoner, except that as he is ill, as in the case of other prisoners that are ill, he get medical attention. There is NO REASON why the same could have been done with Shaik.

      Kevin - 2011-12-03 10:32

      Paynter and Crackerthere is one significant difference between Shaik and Selebi, Shaik is Zuma's bunny Selebi was Mbeki's bunny. Nicolo Machiavelli wrote "put not your faith in princes" and at the time he was writing they were the politicians.

  • hsnam - 2011-12-03 08:59

    I'm sure some of the guys you put in prison will be very happy to see you.

  • gordon.vanrensburg - 2011-12-03 09:09

    Yes, and probably if the appeal succeeded he would have been fighting fit and having a party with no bars held!!

  • Henry - 2011-12-03 09:31

    Lock this thug up already!! Throw away the key and let him rot there.simple.

  • Kogie - 2011-12-03 09:36

    why does shabeer shaik come to mind?

      Kate - 2011-12-03 09:55

      Malema too!!

  • Marc57 - 2011-12-03 09:39

    Shabbies bed is spare I see. He'll be getting pizze delivered in no time.

  • Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-03 09:47

    I always feel a bit of sympathy when a non-violent old person has to go to jail. I can't imagine the mental adjustment they have to make. Interesting how life can completely turn on you for a few stupid decisions

      Jenny - 2011-12-03 20:37

      If you do the crime, you do the time, regardless of age. If anything, he is old enough to have know better

  • Omrisho - 2011-12-03 09:53

    17.4 million in legal fees, throw the frikkin lawyers in jail too... disgusting

      Kevin - 2011-12-03 10:37

      To right, they are con artists, who should have advised Selebi to accept a plea bargain. That would have saved South Africa R30m.

      Omrisho - 2011-12-03 10:41

      lol... a thumbs down, must be a lawyer or another corruption beneficiary

  • Hermann - 2011-12-03 09:55

    Guess who is going to be delivered not by car, but by ambulance. Keeping a new VIP tradition going.

  • Kate - 2011-12-03 09:55

    Is there something written in these "maaifoedies's" contracts to act sick when they are found guilty?

      Roy - 2011-12-03 10:33

      Nothing wrong with these "naaifoedie's" unless they are caught and punished.

      Kevin - 2011-12-03 10:38

      No the get sick at the thought of having to pay for something!

  • lisa.evansdominick - 2011-12-03 10:06

    Guess who was trained by Shabir shaik, another 15 year hospital stay in the making!!!! amazing when they are accepting bribes and hand outs in return for favors they are never sick!!!

  • Winifred - 2011-12-03 10:26

    Sure he will spend the time in a private hospital, private ward with all the perks.....reason he is so sick he is dying. Yes we all know how the story ends we have all seen it played out. It is so funny when any of the culprits have to face the music they fein sickness. So my guess is he has no money to repay the legal fees so that will be swept under the carpet and the taxpayers will have to pay it AND the cream on the TOP it we will also be paying for his 5***** hospital bed until he gets the dying pardon in a year or so.

  • Jacqui - 2011-12-03 10:43

    This lawyer is probably still on the payroll. Strange how they all fall sick when prison looms

  • Shirley - 2011-12-03 10:53

    He will go into prison straight to the hospital,then his condition will get worse and will be transferred to a privete clinic! He knows enough underworld scum to pay the bill. EVERY case he was involved in should be re opened in the course of fair justice!!! He has tainted so much,how many cops under him are also not in the deal!!!

  • Niki - 2011-12-03 11:17

    Arresting a criminal who was protected by Zuma's rival is not proof of a strong and independent justice system. Let's see those criminals who are pals of the current president get sent to jail first...

  • peter.vanachter - 2011-12-03 11:30

    Oh hell, another ambulance ride we going to pay for. Just get this guy behind bars, no longer want to hear about him.

  • will.glibbery - 2011-12-03 11:44

    Remember when he defended his 'friendship' with Agglioti? And was so smug in the court room when he thought he would come out unscathed? Not a bad man? Just foolish? Nope, he is rotten to the core, an embarrassment to our nation in the high position he held. Too much of a sentence for what he received? What are you smoking? Whether you steal R100 or R1 Million, we expect better from high ranking public officials. Go and rot there, Selebi.

  • Shirley - 2011-12-03 13:14

    Thanani: This assh@le was supposed to be serving and protecting the citizens of this country-NOT his own interest and pocket!!!! 15 years is not enough! How many new addicts are on the street,how many lives have been ruined for drugs that hit the street through his dealings with Agliotti?Im actually surprised a clever lawyer hasnt begun a civil suite! The money isnt the big issue-He was HEAD of the police!!! Get it????

  • Alwyn - 2011-12-03 15:19

    Have you read the completen verdict? The Judges of the appeal Court indicated that them trial Judge treated him leniently. Many other illegal acts were dealt with but the trial Judge only found him guilty of four counts because they were corroborated by different parties. It is clear to me that much more money and favours were involved. He was a complete gangster friend. This could make a fantastic Hollywood movie. Just think about it. Interpol's crooked Chief.

  • Schalk - 2011-12-03 19:35

    'There go I, but for the grace of God.' What about you?

  • felican - 2011-12-03 21:41

    Unfortunately when a country is run by criminals - it will always be over run by criminals. AND only the rat deserting a sinking ship will ensure that it finds the rope ladder to get to the life raft.. There is no longer 'Honour amongst Thieves' as the 'old adage' says. It is now Dog eat Dog to save face.

  • Oupa - 2011-12-04 20:14

    Comrade Selebi's 15 years prison sentence is nothing & not new to him, he was arrested and detained without trial during apartheid, so don't make noise as if he does not know how prison cell looked like!

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