South Africa’s former police Chief Jackie Selebi pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption today at the start of a trial that will see him accuse other officials of graft.
Selebi is charged with receiving payments from Glenn Agliotti, a convicted drug smuggler accused of playing a role in the 2005 murder of a mining tycoon.
“I plead not guilty,” he said in Johannesburg’s High Court to charges of corruption and defeating the end of justice, after repeated delays.
Selebi, formerly a leading anti-apartheid activist and well-connected in the ruling ANC, says he is the victim of a conspiracy and accuses prosecuting officials of graft.
President Jacob Zuma appointed Bheki Cele as the new police chief in July, with Selebi having been suspended since January 2008.
Critics of former President Thabo Mbeki accused him of protecting Selebi despite repeated calls for his dismissal.
Selebi, who stepped down as president of international crime-fighting agency Interpol last year, is among a number of high-profile officials who have been caught up in corruption investigations that have tainted South African politics.
Pic: Former Police Cheif- Jakie Selebi