Johannesburg: A judge on Tuesday jailed South
Africa`s former police chief and the ex-president of Interpol,
Jackie Selebi, for 15 years for accepting bribes from
Judge Meyer Joffe said he believed Selebi was the most
senior official ever convicted of graft in South Africa,
saying high-level corruption posed a threat to the nation`s
hard-won constitutional freedoms.
"Corruption threatens our constitutional order," the
judge said at the hearing in Johannesburg. "Corruption by
members of the police force can never be tolerated. It is the
very antithesis of what the police force stands for."
"I am satisfied that a sentence of 15 years in prison is
appropriate in the present matter," Joffe said at the high
court, telling Selebi he had repeatedly lied to cover his
"Mr Selebi, you were an embarrassment in the witness
box," the judge said.
"At no stage during the trial did the accused display any
indication of remorse. The accused lied and fabricated
evidence in an effort to escape the consequences of his
conduct," he added.
Selebi`s lawyers told the court they would seek an
appeal, and he was released on USD 2,700 bail and given 14
days to apply for appeal.
He refused to speak to reporters as he left the building
in a grey suit, but was seen laughing as he waited to leave
Selebi was convicted on July 2 of corruption for
accepting more than 1.2 USD 166,000 in bribes between 2000 and
2005, including payments from convicted drug smuggler Glenn