DA demands answers from Mbeki over Selebi

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

President Thabo Mbeki must explain to parliament how he had handled Jackie Selebi's case, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

The DA's parliamentary leader Sandra Botha has sent a letter to the speaker of the national assembly, Baleka Mbete, calling for Mbeki to make known the reasons for his decisions on Selebi.

Mbete's spokesman, Tenjiwe Kona, said yesterday Mbete was not available for comment. However, Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga told Sowetan that Mbeki had not had any communication with either the DA or Mbete and had therefore not considered the matter.

"The president will deliver the State of the Nation address in three weeks' time. In previous State of the Nation speeches, the president has communicated on a variety of areas, including the state of organs," said Ratshitanga.

Botha's call comes in the wake of the NPA revealing damaging allegations over Selebi's links to alleged organised crime boss Glenn Agliotti. Selebi has since resigned from his position as head of Interpol.

Botha said Mbeki needed to explain why he had denied knowledge of alleged wrongdoing by Selebi when it was apparent he was informed last May of the matter regarding the country's top cop.

She said Mbeki should explain why he was refusing a review of the suspension of NPA head Vusi Pikoli and the appointment of the Ginwala commission into Pikoli's conduct.

"President Mbeki owes it to South Africans to explain his handling of the Selebi issue, especially in light of the impact that it is having on key government institutions, especially in the criminal justice system that are supposed to protect our democracy," said Botha.

She said parliament was empowered by the constitution to hold Mbeki accountable for his decisions and actions.

The DA has also called for the Independent Complaints Directorate to probe the arrest of Gerrie Nel, Gauteng Scorpions boss.