Ramokgopa salutes ‘distinguished’ Selebi

FILE PICTURE: Former Executive Mayor of Tshwane Kgosientso Ramokgopa. Picture: Christine Vermooten

A large hall at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria was almost full on Thursday evening as family members and ANC supporters commemorated the life of former police chief Jackie Selebi.

Chairman of the ANC in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, and Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu sat in one of the front rows.

Addressing the gathering, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa described Selebi as “one of the most distinguished cadres of our liberation struggle”.

He said Selebi “served with distinction” during his tenure as South African ambassador and permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Outside the hall, scores of enterprising vendors had set up shop as the ANC supporters streamed into the building.

“We know some cadres want to buy and we are here to supply. Some have been just asking the prices but many are buying,” said one hawker, identified as Thato.

The hawkers were selling ANC-branded berets, caps and shirts.

The ANC announced this week that it would pick up the tab for Selebi’s funeral and memorial service.

Selebi died on Friday aged 64. He had reportedly suffered from diabetes and kidney problems.

Selebi was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on August 3, 2010, for taking bribes from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.

The former head of Interpol started serving his sentence in 2011, after being found guilty of corruption in 2010. He was released from Pretoria Central Prison on medical parole less than a year later.

The ruling party had held numerous meetings with the family and a committee representing the family and the ANC was set up. The committee will be led by the ANC’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.

The funeral will be held at the NG Church in Pretoria on Sunday.

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