A travesty of justice

2010-11-28 12:31

The manner in which the state bungled the murder case of mining tycoon Brett Kebble does not inspire much confidence in the criminal justice system.

The state’s case limped from one disaster to another from the moment Kebble was gunned down on ­September 2005.
Police failed to properly secure the scene, leading to crucial evidence being lost. Interference by senior police and law-enforcement agencies’ failure to ­co-operate led to the shooters being given indemnity.

Prosecution boss Menzi Simelane changed the prosecutors of Glenn Agliotti – the only suspect to be charged – at the last minute and replaced them with others who had no clue about the highly complex case. Agliotti was freed this week.

Judge Frans Kgomo said the state “wanted the ­accused so badly that it did not matter how evidence was procured”.
Agliotti was critical to the original prosecution team, which needed him to testify against former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

With Agliotti and Kebble’s murderers – Mikey Schultz, Nigel McGurk and Faizel Smith – now free, South Africans are unlikely to see anyone prosecuted.

If the state can bungle such a high-profile case, what hope is there for ordinary citizens? Simelane needs to re-examine the role he played in this case and ­explain to the country why he did what he did.

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