Jackie Selebi, the former police chief, may not be the only victim
of both his corruption trial and the previous administration's efforts
to save him.
Prosecutions boss Menzi Simelane has a week left to submit reasons to
the Johannesburg Bar why he should remain an advocate in good standing
in light of adverse findings made against him by the Ginwala Inquiry.
Senior advocate Pat Ellis of the Pretoria Bar submitted a formal
complaint against Simelane to the General Council of the Bar (GCB) in
December last year after the release of former speaker Frene Ginwala's
report on the conduct of Vusi Pikoli, Simelane's predecessor at the
national prosecuting authority (NPA).
Former president Thabo Mbeki suspended Pikoli in September 2007 after he
obtained warrants to arrest Selebi and search his house.
In her final report Ginwala found Pikoli to be a fit and proper person
to head the NPA, but then-president Kgalema Motlanthe nevertheless fired
Pikoli based on criticism in Ginwala's report.
The former speaker criticised Pikoli for not giving Mbeki the two weeks
he allegedly asked for to prepare the country and police for Selebi's
Simelane, who was the director general of justice at the time, presented
the government's case against Pikoli at the inquiry and was slammed by
Ginwala as unreliable and arrogant.
She also found Simelane may have been acting unlawfully when he drafted
a letter for former justice minister, Brigitte Mabandla, instructing
Pikoli to cease the investigation into Selebi until she was satisfied
about the merits of the case.
A subsequent investigation into Simelane's conduct at the inquiry by the
public service commission (PSC) found he should have faced a formal
hearing, but Justice Minister Jeff Radebe overruled this and recommended
him to President Jacob Zuma in November last year to be appointed
In his complaint to the GCB Ellis outlined 17 matters for investigation
emanating from Ginwala's report.
It was subsequently established that Simelane was still a member of the
Johannesburg Bar and this body took over the probe from the GCB.
According to advocate Craig Watt-Pringle SC, chairman of the
Johannesburg Bar's professional subcommittee, Simelane was asked by
letter on May 7 to respond to allegations "which may impact on his
professional standing as an advocate".
According to the rules of the subcommittee this means it has already
found there was merit in the complaint against Simelane and that he
should be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing.
At Simelane's request the date on which he is required to respond was
extended to July 15, Thursday next week.
After receiving Simelane's response, Watt-Pringle and his sub-committee
will decide whether to convene a formal inquiry.
The Mail & Guardian understands that one of the reasons that will
be advanced by Simelane is that he was not acting in the capacity of an
advocate when he testified before Ginwala, but as a civil servant.
The worst-case scenario for Simelane would be if the Bar recommends that
he be struck from the roll of advocates.
Zuma would then be faced with the situation that his prosecutions boss
is not regarded as a fit and proper person to be an advocate.
Meanwhile, Selebi will face an uphill battle to stay out of prison when
he returns to the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday next week for
sentencing. According to minimum-sentencing legislation, a law
enforcement officer convicted of corruption involving amounts in excess
of R10000 should be jailed for at least 15 years.
In a related development, Simelane's office told the M&G this
week that the NPA boss would not change
his mind about replacing chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel and his team to
prosecute Glenn Agliotti for the murder of mining boss Brett Kebble. In
March Simelane removed Nel and his team, who had been working on the
case since early 2006, from the Kebble murder trial and the case against
former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego of defeating the ends of
Simelane's reason was that Nel and his team were too busy with
Selebi's prosecution to attend to the Agliotti and Mphego cases. He
appointed a new team that had to be briefed from scratch on both
This led to the case against Mphego being withdrawn in May. Agliotti
goes on trial on July 26. His advocate, Laurence Hodes, told the M&G
this week there had been no correspondence from the NPA indicating that
it was not ready to proceed.
With acknowledgements to
Adriaan Basson and Mail and Guardian.
*1 The Sweeper is
being used by his bosses, Mr Zuma and The ANC to protect.
It is clear that if Nel remains as prosecutor in the Kebble matter, he
will ensure that much of what comes out in that trial will expose other
Kebble was right on the inside and so was Agliotti.
The evidence related to Kebble and the testimony of Agliotti will expose
many, none least of whom will be the ANC Youth League.
That is where Kebble began his mission to corrupt the ANC for his own
This was known to people like Bheki Jacobs in the 2000 era and this was
reported to the DSO around then. They didn't take it seriously.
Since then the ANC, with people like The Sweeper, have been 99% able to
keep a lid on things, but the Selebi corruption was just so obvious and
he got on the wrong side of some, like Zuma and Bheki Cele, that he just
had to go down for the smallest of his offences. But it was still R1,2
million and a serving law enforcement officer gets 15 years minimum for
just a R10 000 offence.
But Selebi knows plenty plus, especially how and where the Arms Deal
wonga is warehoused abroad, probably mainly in Malaysia and Macau, that
he will be able to make a deal whereby he escapes long term
Just diligently follow that money: Liechtenstein, British Virgin
Islands, Malaysia, Macau, Malaga, Jersey, Perth and the whole ANC jersey