23 Jan 2015 15:37pm
GOVT SENDS CONDOLENCES TO SELEBI FAMILY Acting President Edna Molewa sent the government's condolences to the family of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, who died on Friday. "We extend our deepest condolences to the Selebi family on the sad passing," she said in a statement. "Mr Selebi's selfless contribution to the liberation struggle as well as the freedom and democracy we enjoy today will forever be remembered." Ministers, political parties and unions expressed sadness at Selebi's death. Many said he was as a leader who would be remembered for his contribution to the country. Police Minister Nathi Nhleko described Selebi as a "servant of the people". "Whatever people may say, or may not say about him, he did become a servant of the people of this country. He did give of his time," Nhleko's spokesman Musa Zondi told reporters in Pretoria. "All the people who were touched by his positive work are quite grateful that he spent time with the police and did quite a lot of positive things, despite everything else that you can read." Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor was also saddened. "My prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," she said in a statement. The ANC described Selebi as "giant and leader of our people". "Comrade Selebi has been a long standing member of the African National Congress and the ANCYL," party spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement. "As we close the chapter of his life, we are opening the chapter of his legacy which will inspire generations to come to serve this nation with loyalty and steadfastness." Selebi died on Friday aged of 64. He had reportedly suffered from diabetes and had kidney problems. Selebi was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on August 3, 2010 for taking bribes from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti. The ANC's alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, said he would be remembered for the two different parts he played in South Africa. "Firstly, he played a major role as an inspirational freedom fighter, shaping the history of our country, and willing to put his life on the line in our liberation struggle," spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement. "Later however, he undid all the good work he had done when he was found guilty of accepting bribes from disreputable criminals." However, the trade union federation said Selebi's positive contributions should never be forgotten. The SA Policing Union (Sapu) commended Selebi for his leadership skills. "Whilst it is a well documented fact that Mr Selebi left the SAPS under a dark cloud, Sapu as a human organisation would like to remind others that to judge is not for us," general secretary Oscar Skommere said in a statement. "We would also like to acknowledge not only his role in the fight against oppression, but his leadership skills that were acknowledged worldwide." The union could not hide the fact that he made costly mistakes. The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said its members, who worked under Selebi for nine years, were deeply touched by his death. "Despite the issues that led to his unceremonious departure from office as the country's police commissioner, some of his deeds as head of the SAPS led to the effective execution of excellent policing nationally," spokeswoman Theto Mahlakoana said in a statement. The Young Communist League of SA and Inkatha Freedom Party hailed Selebi for his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Sapa /gq/th