Selebi back on witness stand

2010-04-19 10:46
Johannesburg - The prosecution in the Jackie Selebi corruption trial is expected to conclude its cross-examination of the former police chief in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.

Monday's proceedings will wrap up a hostile and sometimes sarcastic exchange between prosecutor Gerrie Nel and Selebi, which at times last week prompted Judge Meyer Joffe to intervene and call the two to order.

The two men kept interrupting each other, forcing Joffe to ask them to give each other a chance to ask and answer questions.

At one point, Nel and Selebi even argued about the difference between the Bulgarian and the South African non-verbal signs of saying yes and no, drawing laughter from the packed public gallery.

Admitted friendship

"Be careful of shaking heads because in Bulgaria, shaking a head like this (nodding) means no and shaking it like this (to the side) means yes... opposite to South Africa. So I might have acted like Bulgarians," said Selebi, the former national police commissioner.

Nel, who had wanted to know if Selebi, by shaking his head, wanted to say yes, retorted: "Mr Selebi, this is a serious matter, you are not a Bulgarian and you know it."

Under cross-examination on Friday, Selebi admitted to a friendship with Glenn Agliotti and to making a phone call to the convicted drug trafficker soon after mining magnate Brett Kebble's murder in 2005.

"You shared with Agliotti information about the Kebble murder," said Nel.

In response, Selebi said: "I got information from a journalist that Kebble has been murdered. I then called Glenn and asked if he knew that Kebble has been murdered. He said he didn't know... but called later to say it's true."

Investigation

Selebi, who was accused of defeating the ends of justice for having a corrupt relationship with drug smuggler Agliotti, said he had also spoken to Agliotti about a Scorpions investigation implicating the top cop in an international syndicate involved in the smuggling of drugs.

Agliotti, who was facing charges relating to Kebble's murder, was allegedly the syndicate's kingpin and was referred to as the landlord in National Prosecuting Authority papers and media reports.

"Allegations were that I was part of a gang led by the landlord (Agliotti), so the reason I went to him was to ask him if he was the landlord... I asked him and he said no, he wasn't the landlord," said Selebi.

He then gave Agliotti documents implicating him in the syndicate, not to warn him, but so Agliotti could take the papers to his lawyers "to see what could be done".

- SAPA
Read more on:    jackie selebi  |  glen agliotti  |  johannesburg  |  jackie selebi trial
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