Selebi’s bank account comes under scrutiny

2009-11-10 12:13

“Inferences” could be drawn from the way corruption-accused former

top cop Jackie Selebi handled his finances in 2005, the High Court in

Johannesburg heard today.

State witness, forensic auditor Dean Friedman took the court

through a graphic representation of Selebi’s financial affairs.

Friedman is testifying about a forensic investigation report into

Selebi’s financial affairs, as well as the Spring Lights account.

He said the representation showed a reduction in cash withdrawals

and credit card expenditure in the year.

“In October/ November 2005 all expenditure goes down.”

Friedman said certain “inferences” could be drawn from the fact

that Selebi kept large amounts of cash – his balance apparently did not go down

below R79?000 that year – in a low interest-bearing account.

“It is unexplained why he would have these massive amounts of cash

in this account not bearing much interest.”

Defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers then put it to him: “We are not busy

evaluating the accused for his financial skills. We are investigating if there

is currency or money from outside sources we cannot explain.”

Friedman said he disagreed with Cilliers.

“One can infer a number of things. Mr Selebi might not have been

financially as astute, which clearly is a criticism of his financial management.

Or that there was such a flow of cash. If you have a lot of cash that becomes

available, as has been alleged with Mr Selebi, then it can be an inference that

can be drawn.”

Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the

ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2 million he allegedly received

from Agliotti and others in return for favours.

At the start of the trial the State, in papers before the court, it

is alleged that “[convicted drug trafficker Glenn] Agliotti and/or [slain mining

magnate Brett] Kebble and or [ex-Hyundai boss Billy] Rautenbach and/or the

relevant corporate entities have benefited the accused in the period 1 January

2000 up to and including 31 December 2005... in an amount of at least but not

restricted to R1.2?million.”

The investigation into Selebi started in 2006 and Selebi first

presented himself to court in 2008.

Friedman’s investigation into the bank account of a company called

Spring Lights relates to claims Kebble and his associate John Stratton allegedly

used the account to send Selebi’s former self-proclaimed friend Agliotti

payments.

Agliotti, who has turned State witness, previously testified he had

asked Kebble and Stratton for a $1?million “consultancy fee” for access to

Selebi.

During cross examination on Tuesday, Cilliers put it to Friedman

that neither the KPMG report nor his evidence showed any unexplained cash

payments or credit cards going into Selebi’s account.

“You could find no cash that could not be explained from the

legitimate earnings for the accused. There was no cash that you could not find

the source of.”

Friedman replied: “Yes there is none.”

The cross-examination between Cilliers and Friedman turned somewhat

nasty at times.

At one stage, Friedman told Cilliers: “Maybe counsel should listen

before you ask a question.”

“Maybe the witness should forget he was a prosecutor,” Cilliers

retorted to Friedman, who once practised law.

At another stage Cilliers told Friedman: “If you don’t stick to the

question we will be here all week.”

The auditor replied: “M’lord, I really don’t need to be lectured by

counsel.”


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