The ANC on Friday expressed sadness at the death of disgraced former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, describing him as a “giant and leader of our people”.
“Comrade Selebi has been a long standing member of the African National Congress and the ANCYL,” national 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.”
The party sent its condolences to Selebi’s family.
Selebi died on Friday at the age of 64. According to media reports, he had 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.
Agliotti took to social networking site Twitter on Friday to send his condolences to Selebi’s family.”
“My condolences to Anne Selebi and the family on the passing of Jackie,” he wrote.
In response to a Twitter follower, Agliotti said it was a sad day.
Eyewitness News reported that Selebi’s friend, Schabir Shaik said he heard the news this morning.
“I believe he’s been in an induced coma for some time now, for about two-and-a-half weeks. He finally passed on between late last night and early this morning I believe,” he was quoted as saying.
“He was a good man,” Shaik reportedly said.
“I have good memories when I worked with him at [ANC headquarters] Shell House in the early 90s. I recall him to be a good comrade.”
Not everyone had good words to say about Selebi.
Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) said on Friday it did not see his death as time to reflect on the good deeds he did during his time as police commissioner, but rather on the legacy he left behind for the child victims of Gauteng.
“We remember the havoc that Selebi caused in 2006 with the redeployment of the police’s FCS [Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences] units,” WMACA’s Miranda Friedmann said in a statement.
“The damage caused by this decision in 2006, and the rapid, poorly thought out and unconsultative manner in which the redeployment was implemented, still resonates today in the huge number of cases that fell through the cracks and were lost in the system during that time of upheaval.”