Publication: The Star
Reporter: Jovial Rantao
Reporter: Karyn Maughan
Selebi Next in Mbeki's Firing Line?
Jovial Rantao, Karyn
on the heels of his action against Scorpions boss Vusi Pikoli, the president is
to act against national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.
independent sources have told the Daily News that the inquiry into the claims
against Selebi would be Thabo Mbeki's second major step after Pikoli's
suspension, which was announced on Monday.
Mbeki is to order an inquiry
into allegations that Selebi, also the head of the international police
institution Interpol, has links with crime syndicates.
The third step
would be an investigation into private companies, owned by apartheid-era
security operators, which have been contracted by the SAPS and the Scorpions to
do small- and large-scale investigations.
Mbeki, one source said, was
keen to clear the air around Selebi, whom he has been seen to be protecting
since the allegations surfaced.
admitted to a friendship with Glenn Agliotti, the man arrested for the murder of
businessman Brett Kebble, but vehemently denies any links to crime.
Daily News understands that a file - compiled by a private security company on
behalf of the Scorpions - is to be handed over to the acting national director
of public prosecutions, advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, who would then decide whether
or not there is a prima facie case against Selebi.
If there is, a full
independent investigation will be ordered.
The probe would be headed by
a judge because both the SAPS and the Scorpions would be unsuitable, given that
Selebi heads the SAPS and the Scorpions' credibility is in question after
Sources have told the Daily News that Pikoli was
suspended because of his failure to control the Scorpions.
Mbeki took action against Pikoli because the Scorpions had been found to have
engaged in illegal intelligence-gathering activities that led to the Browse
Report, which claims presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma's campaign is being funded
by African heads of state.
The report says Zuma is being financed by
Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos and Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.
It also claims Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans are
planning a coup.
The Daily News has been reliably told that the source
of the Browse Report was a private security company contracted by the Scorpions.
The Daily News cannot, at this stage, name the security company, which
is owned by security officials from the apartheid era.
The Scorpions are
not allowed to conduct any intelligence operations.
Only the National
Intelligence Agency, its units and the SAPS crime intelligence units are legally
allowed to do so.
Our sources say the Scorpions also breached national
security, providing private companies without security clearance with access to
information which only state security officials had access to.
News understands that the security company in question was also the source of
allegations - to date unproven - that Selebi was involved in crime.
is the same company that was granted permission by the Scorpions to raid the
SAPS crime intelligence offices in Pretoria, but was stopped from doing so.
Mbeki's action against Pikoli is being seen as a
response to Zuma supporters *1, who have claimed that State institutions
were being used to prevent the ANC deputy from becoming the nation's next
The Daily News sources say Pikoli was warned many times and
his failure to comply forced Mbeki to act.
"He was warned and he allowed
the situation to continue, leaving the authorities with no option," said one
Pikoli is the fourth security official to step aside under
His predecessor, Bulelani Ngcuka, resigned under a cloud;
while National Intelligence Agency director-general Billy Masetlha was suspended
and then fired by Mbeki.
He is contesting his dismissal in court.
Finally, the head of the South African Defence Force, Siphiwe Nyanda,
resigned to join the business world, but many believe he was pushed.
Daily News understands Pikoli is in trouble because he failed to inform his boss
- Minister of Justice Brigitte Mabandla - of the illegal operations of the
"He allowed the Scorpions to operate outside the law and
undermined the minister by failing to inform her," said one source.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Daily
News on September 25, 2007
With acknowledgements to Jovial Rantao, Karyn
and The Star.
*1 Far more likely :
- Mbeki's action against Pikoli is being seen as a response to Zuma subtle