Bemused Mbeki shuns questions on Selebi arrest

President Thabo Mbeki was caught off guard when asked questions on the possible arrest of Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi at what was supposed to be a photo opportunity at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday .

President Thabo Mbeki was caught off guard when asked questions on the possible arrest of Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi at what was supposed to be a photo opportunity at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday .

"Why do you ask me these questions?" Mbeki asked journalists before they were ushered out of the room where he was meeting the presidential working group on trade unions.

He was asked whether or not he had seen the widely reported warrant of arrest for Selebi.

"You cannot be serious; have you ever heard of a president issuing a warrant?" a bemused Mbeki asked.

Pushed for a answer, he said the questions should be put to prosecutors.

At that stage several officials were loudly asking the media to leave the room, and Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad half-rose out of his chair declaring the journalist to be out of order.

"You are out of order. Stop it, you are out of order," Pahad said.

Shortly after being ushered out of the room, journalists were told that a media briefing on the outcome of Mbeki's interaction with union leaders was cancelled.

Mbeki has thus far not spoken about his decision to suspend Director of National Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli or the possibility that his suspension was related to a warrant of arrest obtained by his office for Selebi. - Sapa

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