‘I pulled the trigger and kept firing’

2010-07-26 14:49

Boxer Michael Schultz today painstakingly described to the Johannesburg High Court how he twice botched mining magnate Brett Kebble’s “assisted suicide”.

Schultz said: “I leaned out the car window, pointing the firearm at him. He just lifted his shoulder, his right shoulder, and looked in front. I aimed at his head and pulled the trigger, but the weapon did not discharge.”

After the gun failed to discharge the first time, he and two other state witnesses, Faizel Smith and Nigel McGurk, drove off. After inspecting the weapon they returned and found Kebble in his vehicle and tried again.

“I leaned out of the window and pointed the firearm and once again the gun did not discharge.”

Schultz said he then told Kebble to wait for him. The trio drove away for the second time. He inspected the gun, they made a U-turn and returned to where they had left Kebble.

However Kebble had driven off. They stopped their car and saw him coming towards them. They flashed their headlights at him, he made a U-turn and “stopped hard” next to them.

Schultz said: “I could see the disappointment in his face, he gave me a look like to say ‘get this over with, you’re putting me through hell’.”

Schultz then leaned out of the window and this time aimed for Kebble’s body.

“I pulled the trigger, this time the gun fired. I kept firing.”

Schultz could not remember how many times he pulled the trigger but recalled that one of his instructions was that Kebble should not suffer.

The three then drove away. Schultz looked back and saw Kebble’s car rolling forward and hitting the pavement. They sped from the scene in Melrose Street in Johannesburg to Smith’s panelbeating business, where Smith cut the gun into pieces and said he would dispose of it.

Earlier Schultz told the court that security company boss Clinton Nassif told him that Kebble “wanted to get shot”.

“He said Brett wanted to die.”

When he asked him why, Nassif said Kebble was about to be arrested and would go to jail for a long time.

Nassif told Schultz they would be paid R2 million to help Kebble die. Kebble believed his death would save his family and business partner John Stratton.

Schultz told the court how he and Nassif considered a number of ways of helping Kebble die, and eventually agreed on shooting him in his car.

A plan to carry out the murder on September 26 failed at the last minute because Schultz’s car overheated. Nassif had told him that Kebble was “furious“, saying “we didn’t know what we were putting him through”.

Schultz was testifying in the case against convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti, who is facing four charges, two relating to Kebble’s death.

The first count is conspiracy to commit the murders of Mark Bristow, Jean Daniel Nortier, Mark Wellesley-Woods and Stephen Mildenhall. The second count is the attempted murder of Stephen Mildenhall. The last two are conspiracy to commit the murder of Kebble and Kebble’s murder.

According to court papers Woods was the director of DRD Gold in 1998.

Woods uncovered irregularities within the company and ousted Roger Kebble, Brett Kebble’s father, from his position as chairman of the DRD Gold board.

Following lengthy investigations the Kebbles were ordered to pay around R40 million in respect of litigation between mining house JCI and DRD.

Nortier was the chief financial officer of an entity called Aflease Limited. In 2004 he tried to help Randgold and Exploration (R&E), another Kebble mining venture, with its financial difficulties.

Mildenhall was employed by Allan Gray Limited, a registered investment portfolio manager. The investment portfolios of JCI and R&E were held by Allan Gray.

Mildenhall discovered in 2005 that both JCI and R&E, had failed to comply with listing requirements of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Mildenhall was a party to meetings between officials of Investec Bank and JCI.

The Kebbles were seeking a loan for JCI to save it from possible liquidation. Mildenhall proposed that in order for JCI to recover, Kebble should not be allowed to continue having control over the company.

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