You'll miss me, says Glenn Agliotti
Johannesburg - Freed murder accused Glenn Agliotti showed his amicable "people's person" side to the media on Friday, but, every now and then, got hot under the collar.
The news conference, a day after Agliotti was discharged for mining magnate Brett Kebble's murder, started off with the convicted drugster being asked to respond to insults hurled at him.
These included Kebble's brother, Guy, who reportedly called Agliotti a "bag of pus".
The smartly dressed Agliotti took it in his stride, replying simply: "I did not murder the man."
He added: "I've been called many things. I just listen and take it all in."
Later on, a pre-recorded question from Guy Kebble was played to Agliotti, who seemed slightly shaken by the sound of his voice, saying he did not expect it.
"Why not?" asked the interviewer Katy Katopodis, of Talk Radio 702, who was co-ordinating the live broadcast at Primedia Place in Sandton.
"No, I'm only joking," said Agliotti, who, recovering quickly, went on to explain that he never contacted Kebble's father Roger, because he was under the impression that the family "wanted nothing to do with me".
Agliotti said Guy had tried to speak to him in court, but that he "swore and cursed".
"I will not stoop to his level and entertain his comments," said Agliotti.
Asked about the celebrity status he achieved during the murder trial, he said he had become good friends with some reporters, a statement that rang true when he kiss-greeted one of the journalists afterwards.
"I am who I am. I believe I'm a people's person. I have nothing to hide, therefore I won't try to dodge the press," said Agliotti.
But talk to him about the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Scorpions, or those who testified against him in court, and the friendliness evaporates.
Nassif 'should be prosecuted'
He said he believed Kebble's security boss Clinton Nassif, who was not granted indemnity by the court on Thursday, should be prosecuted for Kebble's killing in September 2005, which Agliotti insisted was an assisted suicide.
"Clinton Nassif... he should be prosecuted and if they need me to testify, I would do so," said Agliotti, referring to the State's key witness.
Agliotti got visibly angry when asked how he slept at night, seeing that he was a known criminal, a convicted drug smuggler.
"Go back to the beginning and ask the NPA and the Scorpions how well they sleep at night," he hit back.
"There was a conspiracy [in] the way I was arrested. There was a race between the Scorpions and Saps [SA Police Service] to arrest the so-called shooter. It was an absolute travesty of justice.
"One has to question the motives of the NPA... they should be held accountable."
He claimed the NPA spoke "hogwash" when it said it was in the process of extraditing Kebble confidante John Stratton from Australia for the murder.
Agliotti said he was "very angry" about his prosecution.
"I should never have been charged in the first place."
He said all the evidence led before the court during his trial pointed to an assisted suicide but that he had no power to stop it from happening.
"I had no role whatsoever to play, I had no influence in those decisions. It wasn't me for me to try and convince [Kebble from stopping the alleged assisted suicide]."
At one stage, he seemed to suggest that Guy Kebble was the source of many of the financial problems facing Kebble, who was said to have been close to bankruptcy before his death.
"He [Guy] must ask himself how much he cost his father in botched business deals," Agliotti said heatedly.
The murder trial had taken a "terrible" toll on his family and had left him with financial problems.
"It's been a lot of money... everybody was under the impression there were millions hidden. It's been trying and difficult financially."
And it left his reputation in tatters, lamented the man, who was described by Judge Frans Kgomo as the "caporegime", or lieutenant, in the so-called "Kebble mafia".
"I've been pulled through the mud," complained Agliotti, who is still facing trouble with the tax man, and did not receive indemnity from prosecution in ex-top cop Jackie Selebi's corruption trial.
But, he said he was not worried about that.
"No, not at all. I invite them [to prosecute]... who are they going to get to testify against me?"
Did he believe this was his last time in the dock?
"No, you'll miss me," he said to a reporter. "I don't think it's the last time."