A love for the finer things – and the six big whoppers

2010-07-04 11:23

Former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s love for the finer things in life – shoes, imported suits, Gucci bags and paid-for holidays – sank him when Judge Meyer Joffe convicted him on charges of corruption.

While Selebi’s testimony and that of his former friend and main witness against him, Glenn Agliotti, could not be accepted at face value, Joffe accepted Agliotti’s version of events.

The court was presented with “six big lies” Selebi had told.

Lie Number One

Selebi lied about a meeting with former prosecutions chief Vusi Pikoli at which they discussed shares given to Pikoli’s wife by the Kebbles.

What Joffe said:

The counsel for the accused did not attack Pikoli’s evidence. Pikoli was perceived as a good witness. In the event that their evidence did not converge, at that point Pikoli’s evidence had to be accepted.

Lie Number Two

Selebi had failed to put his version of events to witnesses regarding meetings which he attended at Agliotti’s request with Brett Kebble and a lawyer for Billy Rautenbach.

What Joffe said:

Selebi’s version of events was not satisfactory.

Lie Number Three

Selebi said that his wife had shredded receipts a day before he was supposed to bring them to court.

What Joffe said:

The till receipts did not exist. The evidence which was presented had been prepared using credit card ­statements. This further negated the stance of the accused, that he had known what was happening in his household.

Lie Number Four

Selebi showed Agliotti an intelligence report which claimed that the former top cop was on the payroll of the Kebbles. He claimed that he had declassified the document.

What Joffe said:

The document had not been declassified. The stamp on it was just a date stamp. Suffice it to say that the evidence of the accused in this regard could not be accepted.

Lie Number Five

Selebi said that it had taken him two years before he met with the ­Kebbles, but this had never been put to Agliotti.

What Joffe said:

The only inference was that the accused had changed his evidence as a result of the application for his ­discharge.

Lie Number Six

Judge Joffe introduced a sixth “big lie” which Selebi told the court, regarding intercepted emails passing between former airports security chief Paul O’Sullivan and the now ­defunct special investigating unit, the Scorpions.

Selebi changed his version because the emails had been intercepted by the police.

Joffe on Agliotti

Glenn Agliotti was a large man of imposing physical appearance. He was relatively well spoken. He always appeared extremely well dressed in court.

He did not appear to lack confidence.

It appeared from his evidence that when he was travelling he stayed at the best hotels, supported upmarket clothing stores and flew first class or business class.

He enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle and he deliberately gave the impression that he loved the better things in life.

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