Trust me!

Date: 21 Nov 2006
President Mbeki yesterday asked church leaders to trust his judgment on the Selebi issue. With calls for the resignation of Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi echoing around the country, President Mbeki assured church leaders he would not hesitate to act against any wrongdoing. Calls for Selebi’s resignation followed the arrest of his close friend, Glen Agliotti, for the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble. Mbeki met religious leaders n Pretoria, where the clergymen suggested a commission of inquiry into Selebi’s dealings. Mbeki asked them to trust what he had done regarding the controversy. At a media conference at the Union Buildings, Ashwin Trikamjee, co-chairman of the Religious Leaders’ Forum, said Mbeki told them he had no grounds on which to suspend Selebi based on information he had received. Trikamjee told reporters that Mbeki had assured them he had done what he could as President. “The President said “Trust me, be assured I will take action if anything has been done wrong’,” said Trikamjee. Selebi, through his spokesman Director Sally de Beer, has announced that he will not be granting interviews on his links with Agliotti. De Beer said Selebi wanted to concentrate on his duties and would not be interviewed, unless it related directly to crime prevention and combating duties. The political pressure on Selebi to step down continued unabated, with the United Democratic Movement’s Star Khonco describing the revelations about Selebi and Agliottie as “very bad for the reputation and integrity of the SAPS. “With clouds hanging over the head of Selebi, and in order to protect the integrity and image of the country, it is appropriate to either ask him to voluntarily resign, failing which the President, Thabo Mbeki, should relieve him of his duties and institute an independent inquiry,” said Khonco. He said despite Selebi’s explanations about his relationship with Agliottie, the mounting allegations against the country’s top cop made it impossible for him to stay on in his position. Dianne Kohler-Barnard of the Democratic Alliance accused the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) of believing the problem would go away if they ignored it long enough. She said the NEC missed the ideal opportunity to prove its commitment to the fight against crime, by choosing not to discuss the Selebi and Agliottie friendship. ANC spokesman Smuts Ngonyama said the NEC did not discuss Selebi’s alleged involvement with people like Agliottie. By Werner Swart & SAPA The Citizen 21/11 /06