Former Minister Pahad at Selebi’s trial

2009-10-16 13:43

FORMER deputy minister of foreign affairs Aziz Pahad made a surprise visit to offer his support to Jackie Selebi in his corruption and defeating the ends of justice trial at the South Gauteng High Court.

Pahad, who resigned from his post in a move of solidarity with former president Thabo Mbeki last year, shook Selebi’s hand and gave his wife Ann a hug, in a friendly reunion of the two comrades. Selebi thanked Pahad for the visit and said he “appreciated’’ his presence.

But the real drama in court was when Selebi’s lawyer, Jaap Cilliers SC, continued with the cross-examination of Glenn Agliotti, the state’s star witness.

Agliotti said Selebi was the first person he approached when he knew that former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach was under investigation by the country’s law enforcement agencies.

“I knew the accused knew Ivan Pillay (of the South African Revenue Service) and I asked him to enquire if there was anything Mr Rautenbach could or should do,” he said

Agliotti said Selebi came back and said Rautenbach would have to return (to the country) to “face the music” and make legal representations to SARS himself.

He said afterwards he approached former prosecutions boss Bulelani Ngcuka but nothing came of that meeting. “In fact he said there was nothing he could do and it was too much of a sensitive issue.”

This contradicts Agliotti’s previous testimony that Selebi, who was then head of Interpol, did at some stage get information for Rautenbach on whether an international arrest warrant had been issued against him.

Both Selebi and Agliotti have accused Ngcuka of hatching a plot against the former cop.

Agliotti also said he gave Selebi a copy of a letter allegedly written by Ngcuka to Rautenbach’s lawyer. In the letter Ngcuka apparently said he believed there was a real possibility of finding a “mutually beneficial resolution” between Rautenbach and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Agliotti reiterated his earlier claims that Ngcuka allegedly wanted information from Rautenbach on mining rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

The case was postponed to Tuesday due to a death in the family of prosecutor Gerrie Nel.


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