Roger Kebble had motive to kill Brett, court hears

2010-10-26 11:19

The state wanted to question Roger Kebble after it emerged from a witness that he had motive to kill his son, mining magnate Brett Kebble, the High Court in Johannesburg heard today.

This emerged as the trial of the man accused of killing Brett Kebble, convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti, resumed before Judge Frans Kgomo.

The state’s advocate, Dan Dakana, asked investigating officer Pieter Van Heerden if he knew why Roger Kebble was subpoenaed to testify in the trial of his son’s alleged killer.

Van Heerden responded: “We had to clarify an aspect brought up by one of the witnesses that Roger Kebble had motive to kill the deceased.”

This prompted Kgomo to ask whether it had emerged that Kebble senior had a reason to kill his son.

Van Heerden replied that he understood from the state that this had emerged from a witness in the trial, and was reflected on the court record, although he could not recall which witness had made the allegation.

However, Agliotti’s lawyer, Laurance Hodes, put it to Van Heerden that no witness had testified that Roger Kebble had motive to kill Brett. He put it to the investigating officer, who had 25 years of experience, that this sort of revelation would surely have stuck in his mind.

Van Heerden replied it might have come out when he was not in court, as he was absent for a full day during the start of the trial. He added that he never heard the allegations when he was present in court.

The trial was postponed in August to allow Roger Kebble to recover from a knee operation. When he didn’t appear in court yesterday, his doctor said it was due to a heart condition.

Kgomo wouldn’t allow a further postponement and the state was ordered to proceed with its case.

Agliotti is facing four charges – two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of attempted murder and one murder charge.

The murder charge and one conspiracy count relates to the September 2005 shooting of Kebble in Melrose, north of Johannesburg.

Agliotti is further accused of conspiring to kill Alan Gray auditor Stephen Mildenhall, Jean Daniel Nortier, Mark Bristow and Mark Wellesley-Woods.

The attempted murder charge relates to the shooting of Mildenhall in Cape Town in August 2005.

Selebi case took precedence

The court also heard that the case against Glenn Agliotti was overshadowed by the prosecution of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Van Heerden told the court that he was largely sidelined, when asked by defence counsel Hodes why he had been taken off the Agliotti case at one point.

“I wasn’t actually removed, but sidelined,” he said. “This murder investigation was not the primary objective of the DSO [directorate of special operations, or the Scorpions], but rather the prosecution of Selebi.”

Hodes put it to Van Heerden that the most important affidavit in both the Selebi matter and in the case against Agliotti was that of bodyguard Paul Stemmet. But Van Heerden told the court he did not have the statement, nor had he ever seen it.

He said there was a “huge amount” of affidavits that were locked in a boardroom that was never shown to him. He also told the court that the Stemmet statement was therefore not handed to the defence in the Agliotti matter.

According to a 2006 Mail & Guardian report, Stemmet and his team of ex-special forces operatives turned police reservists allegedly did covert work for both Selebi and Agliotti. According to the paper, Stemmet had turned state witness.

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