selebi growls at npa

Simon Nare and Sapa

Simon Nare and Sapa

National police Commissioner Jackie Selebi has bared his teeth at the National Prosecuting Authority.

Yesterday, after months of speculation that the NPA was about to arrest him, Selebi asked the Pretoria high court to stop the authority from acting against him.

He wants any warrant of arrest or any attempt to obtain one to be stopped.

Also, Selebi is demanding full details of the investigations and affidavits supporting the claims so he can respond to them.

The matter is to be heard in the Pretoria high court today.

But legal expert Shadrack Gutto said this was a long shot by Selebi. "It would be very difficult for a court to give such an order preventing charges or arrest because the court is not yet in possession of any information or evidence to be used," said Gutto.

In the application, Selebi is demanding all the information from the NPA pertaining to the criminal investigation against him.

Speculation of Selebi's imminent arrest started last month, sending journalists rushing to his Pretoria house and various courts.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said the authority would oppose Selebi's action.

"We will strongly oppose the application. You are aware that the investigation against him has been completed. A decision on the action was to be announced at the end of the month," said Tlali.

He refused to be drawn on whether Selebi had a constitutional recourse to request information on the investigations against him.

"A court of law is a proper platform to pronounce whether it is constitutional or not," Tlali said.

He also refused to be drawn on what action the NPA was going to take against Selebi.

But Selebi's application suggests the NPA's action was not in favour of the commissioner.

The first respondent is the National Director of Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe; the second, the Scorpions and the third, Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla.

The application comes a day after the man heading an investigation against Selebi, Gerrie Nel appeared in court on charges of defeating the ends of justice and fraud.

Selebi's spokesman, Director Sally de Beer, said the commissioner had lodged the application in his personal capacity and she therefore could not comment.

l The NPA made a "concerted effort" to undermine investigations into Scorpions boss Gerrie Nel and prevent his prosecution, Gauteng police said yesterday.

Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said prosecutors had refused to look at evidence presented to them in September which implicated Nel in criminal activity and requested them to apply for a warrant of arrest.

Nel was arrested at his home on Tuesday night on charges including corruption and defeating the administration of justice.

"The prosecutors who were approached refused to even look at the evidence as soon as Nel's name was mentioned. The reasons cited ranged from the fact that Nel is a senior member of the NPA to their involvement being against NPA policy," said Dlamini.