State seeks stiff sentence for Selebi
The prosecutor in Jackie Selebi’s corruption trial has asked the court to jail the former top cop for more than 15 years.
Judge Meyer Joffe postponed proceedings in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday afternoon to 12pm on Tuesday, when he will given judgement on Selebi’s sentencing.
This was after chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued for Selebi to be sentenced for longer than the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years for corruption by a law-enforcement official.
Selebi’s advocate, Jaap Cilliers, earlier asked Joffe to show sympathy for what Selebi has already had to endure and his age (Selebi is 60), and rather give him a suspended sentence and a fine.
Selebi called six witnesses in total to testify in mitigation of sentence. They included former deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad, who told the court Selebi was a highly regarded diplomat; ANC struggle stalwart and Vryburg mayor Ruth Mompati, who said she knew Selebi as a youth leader in the struggle who had sacrificed a lot; and former KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Hamilton Ngidi, who told the court Selebi reformed the South African Police Service.
In cross-examination, all of Selebi’s witnesses admitted that corruption was a very serious offence that should be punished by law.
Nel argued that he could take nothing away from Selebi’s struggle history, but that Selebi betrayed his integrity and that of other struggle heroes when he accepted cash bribes from drug dealer Glenn Agliotti and showed him secret reports in return.
A scuffle ensued after court when Selebi’s brother, George, allegedly kicked former head of airport security and whistleblower Paul O’Sullivan on his leg outside court. O’Sullivan said he was planning to lay a charge of assault.
The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, supported by M&G Media and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, produced this story.www.amabhungane.co.za.