City Press story ‘correct’

2009-12-06 08:56

A FORMER top police spy has confirmed for the first time the facts

of a City Press exposé about the existence of a secret video recording involving

Glenn Agliotti and intelligence bosses.

Mulangi Mphego, the former acting head of the police’s crime

intelligence unit, told the Randburg Magistrate’s Court this week that the

October 18 City Press report headlined “New tape up Selebi’s sleeve”, about a

meeting at a Sandton hotel on January 4 last year, was “factual and


Mphego is facing a charge of defeating the ends of justice for

allegedly coercing Agliotti into a meeting where an affidavit in which the

convicted drug dealer denied bribing former ­police commissioner Jackie Selebi

was obtained. Selebi used the affidavit in a failed bid to quash corruption

charges against him last year.

This week Mphego submitted a 70-page affidavit in support of an

application for a permanent stay of prosecution on the charge.

In the affidavit Mphego confirms that the verbatim quotations as

carried by City Press about the January 4 meeting involving Agliotti and then

National Intelligence Agency head Manala Manzini were correct. Manzini’s deputy,

Arthur Fraser, and Mphego were at the same meeting.

“I agree that this article in City Press of October 18 2009 is

factually correct with reference to the verbatim quotations,” Mphego said this


City Press reported that Agliotti and not Mphego had requested a

further meeting to see the then acting crime intelligence boss.

In his testimony in Selebi’s corruption trial in Johannesburg,

Agliotti said Mphego coerced him into attending an off-the-record briefing on

January 7, three days after the meeting with Manzini. The meeting was for

intelligence-gathering purposes.

Agliotti also claimed he was not given an opportunity to read a

statement made inside the hotel room and that he was made to sign without

verifying its contents.Judge Meyer Joffe refused to allow the City Press article

as evidence because “no one had seen the tape and there is no knowledge of the

correctness of this article”.

However, the video footage which City Press saw showed Agliotti

walking into a room with a document in his hand, which he handed to


When Manzini asks him, “What’s this?”, Agliotti replies “this is

the statement I prepared”. Agliotti later claimed that he had drunk wine earlier

in the day and could not remember signing the statement.

In his application Mphego argues that during cross-examination by

Selebi’s attorney, Jaap Cilliers SC, Agliotti never disputed the “correctness”

of the quotes published by City Press.

Agliotti testified that he could not deny what was published but

that he could not remember who between himself and Mphego had made the ­request

for the January 7 meeting.

“Although the video of the meeting on January 4 2008 had not been

aired, Agliotti, in evidence, does not dispute what was in fact conveyed

therein, ­being that he requested the meeting,” said Mphego.

Mphego’s affidavit also confirms that when Agliotti handed the

statement to Manzini, “uniformed policemen of the SAPS present at the hotel on 4

January 2008 duly commissioned the said statement”.

Mphego also said he believed that Agliotti failed to bring his

attorney to any of the meetings because he would not have approved of him

involving the National Intelligence Agency to help him negotiate a deal.

Agliotti previously said that he engaged Manzini, who assured him

he was the most powerful man in the country, in order to get a deal for himself

and ensure that he never testified against his friend, Selebi.

Meanwhile, Selebi’s trial was postponed to February to allow State

Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal. Joffe

had turned down Cwele’s leave to appeal against a decision to allow former

national intelligence coordinator Barry Gilder to testify in camera.

Gilder was subpoenaed by the state to testify on the existence of a

top-secret document called the National Intelligence Estimate, compiled in 2005.

The report claimed that Selebi was on the payroll of slain mining magnate Brett

Kebble and his father, Roger.

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