Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Praise for Selebi sentence

Praise for Selebi sentence
2010-08-03 14:25
Judge: Selebi an embarrassment
Selebi sold his badge
Selebi gets 15 years behind bars
Cape Town - Former national police chief Jackie Selebi's 15-year jail sentence is a "rare instance of justice for corrupt cadres", the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.This marked the end of one of the most controversial trials in South African history, DA spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said."Controversial because of the numerous obstacles placed in the way of due process and the law in trying to bring this criminal to book and controversial because we as a country are almost completely unfamiliar with the idea of a corrupt official, connected to the ANC, actually going to prison," she said.As Selebi came to grips with the idea of prison, so too should the government think about the integrity of a police structure that was for years led by an individual who on Tuesday joined the ranks of the very criminals from which the police were supposed to protect society."The reason was cadre deployment and cadre deployment alone, and that ANC-driven policy needs to be scrapped," Kohler Barnard said.Meanwhile, Independent Democrats leader Patricia De Lille also welcomed the sentence, saying that she agreed with Judge Meyer Joffe that Selebi was an “embarrassment”.Missing the Scorpions' stingShe said the sentence sent out a strong message that South African courts would not hesitate to deliver justice in corruption cases.ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe said Selebi's case would not have ended in a successful prosecution had it been investigated by the police."In light of attempts by the SAPF (South African Police Force) to intimidate the prosecutor, Advocate Gerrie Nel, it is unlikely that this case would have been successfully investigated had it been left to the SAPF," he said.Nel was head of the investigating team from the now disbanded anti-corruption unit, the Scorpions. The highly successful unit was closed down in 2008.Meshoe said the ACDP believed the reputation of the SAPF and Interpol suffered as a result of Selebi's crime and conviction."This sentence is thus justified even though he is in his sixties," he said.Meshoe said Selebi's sentence will send a strong message to policemen that corruption was totally unacceptable, the ACDP said on Tuesday.
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