South African police chief guilty of taking drug bribes
Saturday 03 July 2010
One of the defining trials of the post-apartheid era in South Africa ended yesterday with the former head of the police force convicted on corruption charges.
Jackie Selebi, an apartheid-era activist with powerful connections within the ruling ANC, was found guilty of accepting bribes from the convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti. The court in Johannesburg heard the 60-year-old policeman had gone on lavish spending sprees collecting designer clothes and living far beyond his official earnings.
Agliotti said in evidence: "When the accused and I met, I enjoyed shopping and so did he. Him being my friend, I would instruct shop attendants to put all the clothes on my account." Among the gifts was a red patent leather Louis Vuitton handbag worth £850, a birthday present for his wife.
Selebi claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy to discredit him after his criticism of an elite crime-fighting unit called the Scorpions. The unit was eventually disbanded after it attempted to investigate corruption allegations against the man who is now president, Jacob Zuma. But Judge Meyer Joffe said yesterday Selebi's defence had no basis, and that he showed "complete contempt for the truth" during the trial. He will be sentenced on 14 July.
In the post-apartheid era, the ANC has been dogged by persistent accusations of corruption.
The party said yesterday's verdict, "clearly indicates that South Africa as a country is governed by laws that are applied without any fear or favour to anyone".
However, there are investigations ongoing into the party member's entanglements with state contracts, and the president himself escaped a corruption trial only on a technicality and has used his immunity in office to ward off any further questions.
The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said it was now "time for the many other senior ANC politicians, not least President Jacob Zuma, to also have their day in court."
At its onset, the Selebi case had threatened to explode South Africa's political elite with revelations about the way in which the police and justice system had been dragged into a power struggle between the then president Thabo Mbeki and Mr Zuma.
Mr Zuma has since won that battle, and it is thought unlikely yesterday's conviction will impact on his presidency.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...