Justice has to prevail

FORMER police commissioner Jackie Selebi is at the moment probably the unhappiest man in the country.

FORMER police commissioner Jackie Selebi is at the moment probably the unhappiest man in the country.

Ironically, the cause of his unhappiness has created an opportunity for the public to see justice being done.

On Monday the Johannesburg high court turned down his application for acquittal on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

The charges relate to Selebi's relationship with convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti - with whom he is accused of having a corrupt relationship.

Applying for his acquittal last week, Selebi's defence counsel Jaap Cilliers argued that the state had failed to prove the former police chief's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Cilliers also questioned the state's reliance on Agliotti's evidence, whom he described as the "most unreliable witness to testify in a South Africa court".

In its ruling the state argued that it had done enough to present evidence upon which Selebi might reasonably be convicted.

Considering that Selebi has always pleaded his innocence, the high court decision could also be seen as an opportunity for him to clear his name in a court of law.

Of course Selebi's concern that he might not have a fair trial must be addressed.

But it is also in the public interest that someone of his calibre, accused of allegedly abusing his position and defeating the ends of justice, must grab any opportunity afforded to him to prove his innocence.

This will go a long way in enhancing the public's confidence in the justice system.

X