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Selebi payments 'for friendship'

2009-10-08 12:32

Johannesburg - A tearful Glenn Agliotti told the court on Thursday he made payments of about R1m to former top cop Jackie Selebi for "friendship" and "business" reasons.

“I made payments to the accused because firstly we were friends and I needed him in my business deals,” the convicted drug dealer said in the high court in Johannesburg at the former police commissioner’s corruption trial.

Agliotti also said he needed Selebi in his dealings with slain mining magnate Brett Kebble and his associates, from whom he had requested a $1m ”consultancy fee” for access to Selebi.

”He did help me with three reports he showed me.”

Selebi showed Agliotti reports that he was being monitored by UK officials for drug trafficking.

Broke down

Earlier Agliotti broke down while State prosecutor Gerrie Nel was questioning him about an affidavit signed in January this year, in which he criticised the way in which the Scorpions were handling his case.

"My Lord, it's not easy being here... I didn't want to be here to testify against my then friend and the accused," said Agliotti, before Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned proceedings to allow him to compose himself.

Speaking after the adjournment, Agliotti told the court the affidavit was handed over to former intelligence boss Manala Manzini, deputy director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Arthur Fraser and police commissioner Mulangi Mphego.

“I wanted somebody to hear my side of the story... in order to try and secure a deal for myself,” said Agliotti.

This affidavit was used by Selebi in 2008 in an unsuccessful attempt to have the charges against him dropped.

Some of the contents of the affidavit were not factual, Agliotti admitted in court.

But he said he was led to believe there was a possibility of him making a deal through the NIA.

Under influence of alcohol

Agliotti also alleged he made the affidavit under the influence of alcohol he consumed at a “festive” family lunch he had attended that day in January 2008.

"I’m not making excuses, I enjoyed some good wine and I did not enjoy a cup of tea."

Agliotti said he still believed in comments he made in the affidavit that ex-chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy were targeting Selebi.

“I still believe that Leonard McCarthy together with Ngcuka… were targeting the accused. That is my opinion,” he said.

Agliotti said he made the affidavit in Selebi's and his own interest

"I thought it would be in both of our interests to give the NIA a version that they wanted to hear."

He said the kind of deal he hoped to secure would have ensured "that we wouldn’t be standing here today, that is what I was hoping for, that this matter… wouldn't go further”.

Indemnity


Selebi is facing two counts of corruption and defeating the ends of justice related to payments of at least R1.2m he allegedly received from Kebble, Agliotti and ex-Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach.

Agliotti agreed to testify against Selebi - who once called him his “friend, finish and klaar” - in return for indemnity from prosecution on any criminal charges relating to the Selebi case.

Agliotti is facing a separate charge of murder following the killing of Kebble in 2005.

His cross-examination started just after 11:00.

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