Top guns to testify in trial

2009-10-10 14:04

TOP spies, senior police officers, businessmen, a fashion designer and a secretary are among the 63 witnesses lined up by the state to ­testify against former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

The number of witnesses has doubled from the original list of 30 served on Selebi when he was charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice in February last year.

While eight of the original witnesses were removed from the list, another 41 have been added.

National Intelligence Coordinating Committee co-ordinator Silumko Sokupa and former top spy Barry Gilder are listed as witnesses for the state. Sokupa was acting head of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) until last week.

Sokupa and Gilder are expected to testify about an intelligence report handed to former president Thabo Mbeki which linked Selebi to being on the payroll of prominent mining family, the Kebbles. Drug dealer Glenn Agliotti testified that Selebi was upset about the report and had demanded a written apology.

Among the witnesses Selebi will come face to face with are his former secretary Nontombi Matshoba and 20 police officers, including two of his former deputies.

According to Agliotti’s testimony this week, Matshoba received a Gucci bag worth £500 a few years ago as a birthday gift which was paid for by Agliotti on behalf of Selebi. Matshoba is likely to be quizzed about the many meetings Selebi had with Agliotti and whether she received gifts from him.

Selebi’s deputies Andre Pruis and Tim Williams, who was acting police commissioner when Selebi was placed on special leave until Bheki Cele was appointed in July, will also take the stand.

On Monday Selebi denied any guilt and said the charges were part of a conspiracy by axed national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Vusi Pikoli and his predecessor Bulelani Ngcuka. Both have denied this.

Agliotti’s former girlfriend Diane Muller is expected to testify on the many meetings Selebi and Agliotti had at her offices in Midrand.

Agliotti said he met Selebi on more than one occasion at Muller’s offices to hand him money stashed in envelopes. On one occasion when Selebi was going to be paid R200 000, Muller allegedly helped Agliotti to count and pack the money.

Agliotti’s business partner Martin Flint is expected to testify about large withdrawals from a business account. The money was handed over to Selebi by Agliotti.

Slain mining magnate Brett Kebble’s former security chiefs Paul Stemmet and Clinton Nassif will also be called by the state to testify. Stemmet was introduced to Selebi by Yusuf Surtee – shirt designer for former president Nelson Mandela – in 2000. Surtee will also testify.

Nassif and three hitmen have been granted immunity for their roles in Kebble’s murder in ­exchange for his evidence against Selebi. Kebble was gunned down in 2005 in what has been known as an assisted suicide.

A surprise addition to the witness list was that of former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach who – after more than a decade on the run from authorities – entered into a plea-and-sentence agreement with the prosecuting team last month.

Rautenbach paid $100 000 to Agliotti to gain access to Selebi who was to help him with his arrest warrant.


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