Selebi 'in his office working'

Simon Nare and Sipho Masombuka

Simon Nare and Sipho Masombuka

The National Prosecuting Authority is to seek an urgent meeting with Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla to discuss the possible arrest of national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

This followed a media frenzy yesterday after rumours abounded that the police chief had been arrested and was due to appear in court on criminal charges.

Radio 702 reported that acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe was to seek the urgent meeting yesterday afternoon.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali could not say when the meeting will take place.

He, however, said Mpshe had indicated to Mabandla's office that the meeting should take place as soon as possible.

Tlali denied that the meeting was to discuss a possible arrest, but rather the state of affairs of the commissioner.

Tlali said the statement issued earlier this week that the NPA would announce its position on Selebi some time this week, still stood.

The rumour mill on Selebi's arrest was set in motion on Tuesday night that the Scorpions would pounce on him in the early hours of the morning.

And when Selebi woke up in the morning, throngs of journalists had camped outside his house at Waterkloof, Pretoria.

He was reportedly captured by television cameras in his pyjamas, telling the journalists to leave his home.

And confusion heightened in the afternoon as unconfirmed reports said he was detained at the Pretoria regional court.

Midway in the afternoon the rumour mill went into overdrive when unconfirmed reports surfaced that he was to appear in the Pretoria regional court.

The national broadcaster reported it had been confirmed that he was on the court roll.

This prompted Tlali to rush to the court to address journalists who had gathered in anticipation of Selebi's appearance.

Addressing journalists, Tlali denied that Selebi had been arrested, saying the information doing the rounds was a lie and a rumour.

And as reporters were scurrying all over town, Selebi was in his office "doing his work", according to his spokesman Director Sally de Beer.

And when Sowetan requested to speak to the commissioner, she declined, saying he was not prepared to. But later she called and handed the phone to the police chief.

"Hello, this is Commissioner Selebi. I am in my office working," Selebi said.

When asked if he was aware of the rumours circulating that he was about to be arrested, Selebi said: "Those are just rumours."