Roger Kebble is ‘dodging’ trial

2010-10-25 12:06

The defence in the trial of Brett Kebble murder-accused Glenn Agliotti has accused Roger Kebble of “dodging” testimony in court.

“We are being messed around, my Lord. There is no other terminology,” said Agliotti’s defence lawyer, Lawrence Hodes.

“We are not dealing with a terminally ill man here, my Lord.”

This was after the state told the court that Roger Kebble would not be able to testify due to a heart condition.

Roger Kebble is the father of slain mining magnate Brett Kebble.

State prosecutor Lethabo Mashiane read out a letter from Roger Kebble’s cardiologist.

“It is unwise from a stress perspective to subject him to the rigours of interrogation,” read the doctor’s letter.

However, Hodes charged that Kebble had wasted 20 days to have his heart analysed. He also only returned to the doctor a day after he received a subpoena from the state for him to appear in court.

Hodes said Kebble’s condition amounted to heart palpitations and he had not even been operated upon for an injured knee, which was the cause of him failing to testify in August.

“The state contends that he is not ducking and diving, he’s not Roger the Dodger ... Then why does he waste 20 days to have his heart analysed?” Hodes asked.

But the state told the court this also placed them in a difficult position as Kebble senior was a key witness in the case.

Judge Frans Kgomo adjourned the matter briefly for a tea break.

Agliotti is on trial in connection with Brett Kebble’s death five years ago, as he allegedly paid the hit men. He claims it was an “assisted suicide”.

The trial heard several witnesses testify in August, including Brett Kebble’s former butler, Andrew Minnaar, who said there was always political talk in the businessman’s house.

Brett Kebble’s former friend, spokesman Dominic Ntsele, told the court Kebble was jovial and making plans for the future on the night of his death.

The court also heard Brett Kebble used “ghost phones” in the names of fictitious people. The phones were used by himself and his partner, John Stratton.

The butler testified that Brett Kebble had a separate phone for former African National Congress Youth League leader Fikile Mbalula, currently the deputy police minister.

Three witnesses, Nigel McGurk, boxer Mikey Schultz and fellow state witness Faizel Smith, previously told the court Kebble had the “biggest kahunas” because he had endured three attempts at his “assisted suicide”.

The trio testified they bungled the killing several times – first when their car overheated and then when the gun jammed twice the following night before the fatal shots.

Brett Kebble was shot dead in his car in Melrose, Johannesburg, on the night of September 27 2005.

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