News / Africa

Former S. African Top Cop Receives Prison Sentence for Corruption

South Africa's former police chief and ex-president of Interpol Jackie Selebi looks on during a hearing at the High Court of Johannesburg, on 3 Aug 2010
South Africa's former police chief and ex-president of Interpol Jackie Selebi looks on during a hearing at the High Court of Johannesburg, on 3 Aug 2010

Multimedia

Audio
Scott Bobb

The former head of South Africa's national police force and former president of Interpol has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption.

Judge Mayer Joffe imposed the 15-year sentence on former national police chief Jackie Selebi, calling him an embarrassment to his country and the officers who served under him.

"I am satisfied that a sentence of 15 years imprisonment is an appropriate sentence in the present matter," said Joffe.  "A sentence of 15 years imprisonment is not disproportionate to the crime and the needs of society so that an injustice would be done by imposing that sentence."

The judge said he had considered defense arguments for a lesser sentence because Selebi is 60 years old and it was his first offense.  But he said the seriousness of corruption and its effect on society could not be ignored.

Under South African law, 15 years is the minimum sentence.

The court subsequently freed Selebi on bail so that he could appeal.

The former top cop and president of the International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, was found guilty last month of taking bribes totaling more than $160,000 during a five-year period beginning in 2000.

These included payments and gifts from convicted drug smuggler Glenn Agliotti who turned state's evidence against his former friend.  During the trial, the judge called Selebi and Agliotti liars and unreliable witnesses.

A professor of law at the University of South Africa, Shadrack Gutto, said on national radio that it was a landmark case.

"It is really setting a good example that it does not matter what office you hold in the country," said Gutto.  "Everyone is equal before the law."

Selebi is one of the highest ranking officials in South Africa to be convicted of misuse of office.

He is a former anti-apartheid activist who is well connected in the ruling African National Congress, and his lengthy case frequently disturbed the political hierarchy.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs