Pay­back time for Selebi Off to jail, owes state R15m

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - YOLANDE DU PREEZ, MAR­I­ANNE MERTEN and KEVIN RITCHIE

DIS­GRACED former top cop Jackie Selebi col­lapsed at his lux­ury Pre­to­ria home min­utes af­ter he watched on tele­vi­sion the Supreme Court of Ap­peal dis­miss his ap­peal.

Now the state will move to get him to pay back the R15 mil­lion it cost the state to de­fend him in court, and he will be ex­pected to re­port to prison to start his 15-year jail sen­tence by Mon­day.

Late last night one of Selebi’s lawyers, Wy­nanda Coet­zee, said Selebi was sta­ble, but se­ri­ously ill in hos­pi­tal.

“We are re­ally wor­ried about him. It is aw­ful what has hap­pened,” she said.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, Selebi emerged at the door of his Waterk­loof house to wel­come sev­eral vis­i­tors who ar­rived be­fore the ver­dict. Ca­su­ally dressed, he avoided com­ing out onto the drive­way, in cam­era range of the as­sem­bled me­dia in the road out­side.

One vis­i­tor in an Audi A4 at­tempted to in­tim­i­date jour­nal­ists by first tak­ing pho­tographs of them be­fore mak­ing a video record­ing. He would not say who he was.

By 10am, the SCA had ruled that the former national po­lice com­mis- sioner would have to go to jail to serve his sen­tence for cor­rup­tion. It found that the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court’s judg­ment last Au­gust had been cor­rect, and that Selebi had been paid by con­victed drug traf­ficker Glenn Agliotti.

“On all the ev­i­dence con­tained in 66 vol­umes amount­ing to more than 600 pages that we had to wade through in his ap­pli­ca­tion for ap­peal, we are sat­is­fied that the High Court was cor­rect in find­ing that the ap­pli­cant did re­ceive pay­ment from Agliotti,” Judge Ken­neth Mthiyane said.

Shortly af­ter­wards Coet­zee con­firmed that Selebi had col­lapsed in­side his house.

The drive­way was cleared and an am­bu­lance ar­rived. Selebi was put in­side. Fam­ily mem­bers fol­lowed shortly af­ter­wards by car. He was taken to Jacaranda Hos­pi­tal.

No one would com­ment on record, but it ap­pears that Selebi’s col­lapse was caused by a com­bi­na­tion of stress and his di­a­betes.

Last night, Selebi’s neme­sis, crime fighter Paul O’sul­li­van, said he hoped Selebi would be forced into prison, “in a wheel­bar­row if nec­es­sary”, within the 48 hours limit he has been given be­fore he starts serv­ing his sen­tence.

“I hope they put him on a drip and keep him alive for ev­ery day of those 15 years so that he can serve his en­tire sen­tence. He’s not go­ing to de­prive South Africans from see­ing jus­tice be­ing done.”

He said it was fit­ting that Selebi lost his ap­peal 10 years to the day he had had O’sul­li­van thrown out of the po­lice re­serves.

“Then he con­spired with the CEO of Acsa to have me fired from my job pro­tect­ing South Africans trav­el­ling through our air­ports. This has cost me my life, my fam­ily has been put into ex­ile, my youngest daugh­ter was born in ex­ile be­cause of that man and the crooked of­fi­cers he sur­rounded him­self with,” said O’sul­li­van.

“This is the man who as the head of In­ter­pol gave a key­note speech to the world’s po­lice of­fi­cers on the im­por­tance of hav­ing anti-cor­rup­tion of­fi­cers, and then six weeks af­ter he re­turned to South Africa had our anti-cor­rup­tion unit shut down. And then he tried to get the Independent Com­plaints Direc­torate dis­banded.”

O’sul­li­van said he had spent his life sav­ings try­ing to ex­pose Selebi.

Yes­ter­day, Agliotti re­mained mum: “I’ve just re­turned from Sin­ga­pore. I was told Mr Selebi had col­lapsed and I heard he had lost his ap­peal, but I don’t want to com­ment.”

Last night, jus­tice spokesman Tlali Tlali con­firmed that the state would be­gin pro­ce­dures to re­coup the money it had spent on Selebi.

“This is con­sis­tent with the agree­ment he en­tered into with the state to the ef­fect that if he lost this case he would pay back what was paid to­wards the costs of his le­gal as­sis­tance.

“One of the pre­vi­ous cal­cu­la­tions showed that the amount ow­ing was around R15m.”

Coet­zee said yes­ter­day that she ex­pected Selebi would only re­port to Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices on Mon­day.

“A war­rant is­sued to Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices to ad­mit him needs to be is­sued,” she said.

Selebi would have to re­port to the Reg­is­trar of the South Gaut­eng High Court first, where he would be ad­vised of the fa­cil­ity to which he needed to re­port.

Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices min­is­te­rial spokesman Son­wabo Mbananga told the Week­end Ar­gus late yes­ter­day that when Selebi ar­rived, he would be treated like any other in­mate.

This meant giv­ing up his civil­ian clothes for jail orange, and un­der­go­ing a check-up as part of the as­sess­ment process, which would even­tu­ally de­ter­mine his of­fender, or risk cat­e­gory, and the type of jail to which he would be as­signed.

Asked to com­ment on Selebi’s con­di­tion, Net­care911 and Jacaranda Hos­pi­tal spokes­men de­clined to com­ment.

Mean­while, Mbananga said he could not dis­cuss de­tails or se­cu­rity pro­to­cols. Con­sid­er­a­tions could be that, as a former law en­force­ment of­fi­cer, Selebi may face risks be­hind bars which or­di­nary in­mates would not.

There is, how­ever, a prece­dent of spe­cial treat­ment for pris­on­ers, dubbed “VIP in­mates”, such as Sch­abir Shaik, one- time fi­nan­cial ad­viser to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, and former ANC chief whip Tony Yen­geni.

Both were re­leased on pa­role.

DE­CEM­BER 3 2011

PIC­TURE: SAPA

COL­LAPSED: Former national po­lice com­mis­sioner Jackie Selebi in­side the am­bu­lance that trans­ported him from his Pre­to­ria home to Jacaranda Hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day, when he col­lapsed af­ter hear­ing that his ap­peal against his cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion had been turned down by the Supreme Court of Ap­peal.

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