‘Probe Selebi now’

Date: 21 Nov 2006
There is no need for President Thabo Mbeki to wait for the Kebble murder case to be wrapped up before investigating national police Commissioner Jackie Selebi. According to Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the President nee4ds to order such an investigation immediately to lift the “cloud of suspicion” over Selebi’s head. Selebi has come under immense pressure since the arrest of his friend Glenn Agliotti for suspected involvement in the murder of former mining magnate Brett Kebble. Earlier this month the ISS’s Andrew Faull warned of the danger of Selebi being tried by the media. This followed media reports of alleged ties between Selebi, Agliotti and drug-smuggling criminal syndicate. Agliotti has now been arrested, albeit not on drug-related charges, leaving Selebi in a tight spot. Selebi is on record as saying Agliottie is his “friend, finish and klaar”. Various political parties and observers have called for Selebi’s axing, but he has been adamant in his denial of wrongdoing. Burger says now the national commissioner’s image has become so tarnished that his competence and impartiality are being questioned in the minds of ordinary South Africans. “The only way to clear this cloud of controversy now is for the President to mandate an investigation,” says Burger. It had almost become “irrelevant” whether the allegations against Selebi were true or not. “His integrity is being questioned and that has to be addressed,” said Burger. There was not need for the Kebble case to be finalised first, as this matter did not concern Selebi. “Agliotti has been charged, not Selebi, but extreme suspicion reigns over Selebi at the moment.” Legislation allowed for an independent inquiry of the commissioner to be launched by the head of state. By Christelle du Toit The Citizen 21/11/06