Missed some of the drama? Here’s what happened, day by day

2009-10-10 14:04

Monday

Jackie Selebi pleaded not guilty before unleashing dirt on former national directors of public prosecutions (NDPPs) Bulelani Ngcuka and Vusi Pikoli.

He claimed charges were a conspiracy orchestrated by them because he found out that Ngcuka tried to solicit a bribe from former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach, a wanted man. Selebi said Ngcuka suggested to Rautenbach’s lawyer a solution to his client’s pending criminal case if he co-operated. Selebi added Ngcuka was more interested in mining rights in the DRC and Zimbabwe than in Rautenbach’s alleged offences.

He accused Pikoli of receiving “material gratification in an improper way” as his wife, Nozuko Majola-Pikoli,was given lucrative shares in a mining company by slain mining magnate Brett Kebble.

Tuesday

Glenn Agliotti became the first state ­witness and described Selebi as “a dear friend”: they would “often meet, chat and shop together”.

Agliotti testified how he used the ­friendship to cement a business relationship with the Kebbles, who wanted access to Selebi.

He said the Kebbles (Roger and his late son, Brett) paid him US$1 million as a consultancy fee.

Working as a middleman between the ­Kebbles and Selebi, Agliotti would arrange meetings and dinner parties for them.

He also told how he channelled payments to Selebi from the Kebbles for about a year.

While the Kebbles made significant ­payments to Agliotti, he said Selebi ­received only about R1.2 million in a series of payments.

Agliotti bought clothes, ties, shoes and a R10 000 Louis Vuitton handbag for Selebi’s wife and a £500 handbag for his secretary, he told the court.

Wednesday

While Selebi was the key beneficiary of Agliotti’s largesse, former president Thabo Mbeki also received a pair of shoes which the former top cop chose for him, according to Agliotti’s testimony. Agliotti said he paid for the shoes.

He testified that Selebi was upset and demanded an apology after an intelligence ­report – which was sent to Mbeki – implicated him as being on the payroll of the Kebbles. German businessman Jurgen Kogl allegedly made the allegation. Agliotti told him that Kogl and the Kebbles had a strained relationship after a business deal went sour.

Selebi showed Agliotti a report from police in the UK notifying the South African police that Agliotti was under surveillance for alleged drug-trafficking, the court was told.

Thursday

Agliotti got emotional and wept as he told the court he did not want to testify against “my then good friend”. He also told state advocate Gerrie Nel – the lead investigator against Selebi – that he did not like him and the accused (Selebi) did not like him. He said there were many people who did not like Nel. Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned the court to allow Agliotti to compose himself, and Selebi was overheard saying his former friend “will need lots of tissues” for the ­gruelling cross-examination.

During cross-examination by Selebi’s legal counsel, Jaap Cilliers, Agliotti confirmed that Majola-Pikoli had received R20 million in shares from the Kebbles.

Cilliers said the shares Majola-Pikoli received were a gift for a favour her husband, as NDPP, was doing for the Kebbles.

According to evidence from Selebi, Pikoli helped Roger Kebble around the same time that his wife received the shares, with the charges levelled against him by the South African Revenue Service.

Friday

Agliotti said Selebi had no idea the money he gave him came from the Kebbles.

Cilliers argued that Selebi never did anything improper for the Kebbles or their companies. “When it was mentioned to him that the Kebbles had a complaint, he referred the matter to relevant officials to handle,” he argued.

Agliotti denied receiving any improper assistance or advantage from Selebi, except on the Rautenbach matter where Selebi was aware he would be paid by the fugitive.

“It is my nature to buy gifts for my friends,” said Agliotti, and he told the court how he gave Ngcuka pens on an international flight. He said he did not know who Ngcuka was at the time, but they shared wine and chatted “about many things”. He said he met Ngcuka again to present possible mining opportunities to him.


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