No decision on Selebi’s release from hospital

Ex-police chief Jackie Selebi's family will decide this weekend whether he will go home.

Former police commissioner Jackie Selebi is seen in the back of an ambulance transporting him to hospital after he collapsed at his Waterkloof home upon hearing that the appeal of his corruption conviction failed, Friday, 2 December 2011. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Former National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi's family will decide this weekend whether he will go home or be moved to another health facility.

Selebi was released on medical parole on Friday, after serving less than a year of his 15-year jail sentence.

He was convicted of corruption in July, 2010.

The former top cop appealed his conviction in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the court denied it in December 2011.

The ruling meant Selebi had to start serving his sentence, even though he claimed he was too ill.

Doctors confirmed he was suffering from end-stage renal failure and needed dialysis to survive. They said his illness was irreversible.

Officials from the Department of Justice then decided Selebi would stay in the medical wing of the Pretoria Central Prison indefinitely.

Selebi's family will now consider whether he is healthy enough to be discharged from the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, where he spent a lot of his short prison term.

Attorney Wynanda Coetzee, one of Selebi's lawyers, said the family still needed "to take a financial decision as to whether he will be going home or to another facility."

She said necessary arrangements would be made once a decision was reached.

Selebi's lawyers have said he should have been released long ago.

The ex-commissioner's chief accuser and security consultant Paul O'Sullivan says it would be correct to release Selebi if his illness is critical, but adds that others should receive the same treatment.

"A lot of things in this world is not what you know, it's who you know. But again, I don't know what his medical condition is. I know that there are a lot of people in prison who are very sick and indeed die in prison.

O'Sullivan said it was difficult to say what determined who got medical parole or not.

Meanwhile, the ANC wished Selebi good health.

Spokesperson for the ruling party Keith Khoza said denying the former top cop parole would have been "inhumane and insensitive".