Crowd gathers for Selebi judgment

A crowd gathered outside the Johannesburg High Court today and discussed amongst themselves what kind of sentence Judge Meyer Joffe would give former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Ndaba Jabulani (25) said he had come to see for himself whether the rich and poor were treated equally.

The policing and traffic management student said his feeling was that Selebi, who was found guilty of corruption, deserved to be in prison.

Jabulani said: “Because he needs to be made an example of. He was the head [president] of Interpol, so he had to lead us.”

Taking time out from his political studies course, Jappie Maboya said: “I want to see how this is going to end. I think he will just say he is old, they are not going to sentence him to jail. Such things must not happen to famous people like this.

He is a leader to the community.”

Writer Daniel Masebe said Selebi needed to learn a lesson and should be sentenced to more than 20 years because he was the commissioner of police.

He did not understand why Selebi needed to commit the crime because to his understanding Selebi had enough money.

However, he thought the judge would show remorse.

Zacharia Ramatula, president of the One Voice Hawkers Association in Joubert Park, said: “South Africa must learn from him, especially the people at police stations and in police management.”

Victor Makweya (23), a Unisa law student, said the judge needed to “dig all the corrupt individuals” from government but felt that a long sentence would be too harsh given Selebi’s age.

He said: “I feel sorry for that guy, we’ve been having a lot of corrupt people in government but the judge must balance with his age and what he did before he went into criminal activity.”

Meanwhile, a queue snaked down the corridor at the court as people signed in through the security check ahead of the main sentencing.

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