Dramatic interruption in Selebi trial

2009-12-02 07:47

THE court hearing the corruption case of former top cop Jackie

Selebi was disrupted this morning when a woman screamed and removed her clothes

in protest against her husband’s murder case.

The woman, dressed in a black jacket and black head scarf, sat

quietly for more than an hour before proceedings in the high court in

Johannesburg started.

Once the matter got underway, she pulled out a banner covered in

Aids ribbons and pictures of women blowing trumpets.

The woman then screamed that she wanted prosecutor Gerrie Nel to

tell her when the case – where she appears to be accused of the murder – would

get underway, saying it had been 10 years since the event.

Eventually court officials tried to remove her from the court but

as they pulled her away she wrenched her clothing off, breaking the buttons of

her jacket and taking off her shoes, leaving herself in a black slip and

stockings as she sat on the floor.

Before she was taken out of the courtroom, the woman identified

herself as Ellen.

“I propose and ask everyone in this room to give me an ear. I am in

prison for 10 years (sic). My husband was killed. Mr Gerrie Nel is not bringing

my case to court,” said the woman while gesturing wildly.

“They say I have blood on my hands,” she said, adding that she

believed her husband’s killers were free.

She said she was not allowed to work and was in “financial


As officials tried to remove her, she shouted hysterically, “Pick

me up if you want to, kill me if you want to, let me talk, let me talk.

“If I have to die today like my husband take a gun and shoot me.

You tell me how my matter is going to be addressed. I am asking to be killed if

my matter is not to be addressed.

“What must I do now? I’m a prisoner. Yes, Mr Selebi, Let them take

the money Mr Selebi has stolen from the druglords and use it.”

She then told the court she wanted Nel to bring Investec to


“Investec must bring all the widows’ money and they must stop

sponsoring rugby with all these widows’ money.”

Once dragged outside court, she refused to take her clothing and

carried on talking in a distressed manner to court officials.

When court proceedings resumed, counsel informed the judge that the

matter was unrelated to the Selebi matter.

The court heard that the state security ministry wanted to apply

for leave to appeal a decision compelling an ex-intelligence official to testify

in Selebi’s case.

“I am instructed to apply for leave to appeal against the

judgment,” said the ministry’s lawyer Marumo Moerane.

“M’lord, the appeal if granted will be to the Supreme Court of


Moerane explained the reasons behind the request for leave to


Last week Judge Meyer Joffe heard arguments about an application by

the ministry to have ex-intelligence co-ordinator Barry Gilder exempt from

testifying to protect sensitive information.

The judge then ordered that Gilder give his testimony in camera.

After the court was cleared for him to take the stand, Moerane told the court he

would need to take further instruction from Minister Siyabonga Cwele about the


Gilder was summoned by the state to testify about a 2005 draft

intelligence report which contains one paragraph about allegedly untoward

payments Selebi was receiving from slain mining magnate Brett Kebble. The claim

in the draft document was apparently made by businessman Jurgen Kogl.

Selebi is facing a count of corruption and another of defeating the

ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2 million he allegedly received

from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti and others in return for favours.

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