Opposition parties renew calls for Selebi to go

Opposition parties have renewed their calls for police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi’s dismissal after further allegations were made against him on Friday.

“If the latest allegations against ... Selebi prove to be true, then [Safety and Security] Minister Charles Nqakula has no option but to fire him,” the Democratic Alliance’s Dianne Kohler-Barnard said.

Said Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald: “The latest disclosures regarding ... Selebi’s alleged knowledge of [Glenn] Agliotti’s criminal activities since 2002 leave President Thabo Mbeki with no option but to discharge Selebi without any further delay.”

Friday’s Mail & Guardian newspaper alleged Selebi had been aware of a criminal investigation against his friend Agliotti for the past four years.

The story was published after the newspaper won a last-minute court battle against the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Thursday night, when the NPA tried to prevent publication.

On Friday, Kohler-Barnard said the cloud hanging over Selebi’s integrity is growing bigger by the day and it is impossible for South Africa to have any confidence in the police with him at the helm.

“It is time for him to step down and for a full commission of inquiry to be ordered into his relationship with Glenn Agliotti.”

If Selebi had known all along that his “friend” was involved in a massive drug bust, his supposedly innocent relationship is questionable.

“Urgent action needs to be taken by the minister,” Kohler-Barnard said.

Groenewald said if the allegations are true, Selebi will be “nothing but an accomplice of Agliotti, effectively obstructing justice since 2002”.

“The only logical conclusion to be drawn from the allegations is that Agliotti abused his friendship with Selebi for his own benefit.

“Selebi has now become an embarrassment, not only to President Mbeki, but to South Africa as a whole.

“No member of the public or the South African Police Service [SAPS] can have any confidence left in Selebi. The right thing to do would be to discharge him of his duties immediately,” Groenewald said.

However, Selebi’s office insisted on Friday his name will be cleared.

“The national commissioner of the SAPS has no doubt that the real facts will be revealed as time progresses and that his name will be cleared,” his spokesperson, Director Sally de Beer, said.

“The SAPS has conducted several investigations against the same person whose affidavit is being trumpeted by the Mail & Guardian as ‘evidence’,” said De Beer.

“The SAPS investigations against this person—and others—were in connection with a series of serious offences and were conducted in a thorough and objective fashion.

“The investigations have been finalised and the case dockets, a dozen in total, were handed over to the appropriate authority earlier this year for decision as to prosecution,” she said.—Sapa

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