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Jackie Selebi dies at 64; South Africa police chief convicted of corruption

Jackie Selebi, South Africa's ex-police chief and former Interpol president, dies at 64

Jackie Selebi, South Africa's ex-police chief and a former president of Interpol who was sentenced to 15 years in prison after his conviction on corruption charges, has died. He was 64.

Selebi died Friday in a Pretoria hospital after being in an induced coma for more than two weeks, according to family friend Schabir Shaik. Media reports said Selebi had diabetes and kidney failure.

High Court Judge Meyer Joffe found Selebi guilty in July 2010 of taking bribes from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti. Selebi collapsed and was hospitalized when the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the decision in December 2011. After being taken into custody, he continued to receive treatment in a Pretoria hospital for a kidney-related condition, and was granted medical parole in July 2012.

Selebi became South Africa's first black national police commissioner in January 2000 and was appointed president of Interpol, the world's largest international police organization, in October 2004. He resigned in January 2008 after being charged with graft.

Jacob Sello Selebi was born on March 7, 1950, in Johannesburg. He joined the African National Congress, which led the struggle against white minority rule, training hundreds of young South African exiles stationed at ANC camps in Tanzania and Angola.

After the ANC won power in all-race elections in 1994, Selebi was elected a member of Parliament. He left the legislature the following year after being appointed South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, a post he held for three years before returning to become director-general of what was then the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Judge Joffe found Selebi received hundreds of thousands of rand in bribes between 2000 and 2005. He was also accused of having links to a syndicate that trafficked people, drugs and stolen goods, according to the charge sheet.

Survivors include his wife and two children.

Cohen writes for Bloomberg News.

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