News24

No clarity on Selebi witness

2009-11-17 07:48

Johannesburg - The corruption case of former police chief Jackie Selebi resumes on Tuesday, amid reports that key witness Billy Rautenbach is missing.

Last Thursday, Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned court proceedings in the South Gauteng High Court at the State's request because of "difficulty" in consulting witnesses.

On Sunday, the City Press reported that prosecutor Gerrie Nel and his team were trying "frantically" to find ex-Hyundai boss Rautenbach.

Previously Nel told the court that not all the witnesses were in the country.

"There is difficulty I have had with consulting the next three witnesses... to prepare them for court," said Nel. "I would require the court to stand down."

He also said he had to consult with certain legal teams.

Plea-sentence agreement


On Sunday, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga refused to comment on the matter.

Rautenbach, who lives in Zimbabwe, spent almost a decade on the run before entering into a plea-sentence agreement with the NPA on tax evasion charges on September 16, just 16 days before the start of Selebi's trial.

Under the deal, Rautenbach, as a director of SA Botswana Hauliers, agreed to pay a fine of R40m on 326 counts of fraud.

Convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti testified that Rautenbach paid him $100 000 (about R743 500) as an alleged bribe for Selebi to assist him with his run-ins with the law.

Agliotti said Selebi, who was also president of international police body Interpol, was to check whether there were any international warrants out for the then fugitive Rautenbach.

Selebi is being tried on a count of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2m he allegedly received from Agliotti, Rautenbach and others in return for favours.

SAPA