Selebi trial told of cheque stubs marked 'chief'
The interpretation of the initials “JS” marked on the stub of a cash cheque as being a payment from Glenn Agliotti to John Stratton was self-determined, the high court in Johannesburg heard on Friday.
“I think I made that interpretation myself,” state witness Martin Flint told the court during the corruption trial of former police chief Jackie Selebi. He was explaining his understanding of the initials on a cheque stub he cashed for Selebi’s former friend, Agliotti.
Stratton was an associate of slain mining magnate Brett Kebble in their company, JCI.
Flint is the father of Dianne Muller, Agliotti’s ex-fiancée. He is also the financial director of her events management company, which at one stage sought a black economic empowerment deal through JCI.
Flint also did banking for an account belonging to the Spring Lights company through which JCI apparently channelled payments to Agliotti.
Agliotti previously testified that he asked Kebble and Stratton for a $1-million “consultancy fee” for access to Selebi.
Flint was asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel what he believed the “JS” on the stub for a cheque for R10 000 dated June 14 2004 and, in Flint’s handwriting, stood for.
Flint replied: “The only JS that comes to mind was John Stratton. We were at the time working with John Stratton.”
When the question of the “JS”-marked cheque stub came up again during cross-examination by defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers, Flint emphasised that the assumption of it going to Stratton was his own interpretation.
He said Agliotti would give him instructions to cash cheques, which he would do.
“When I wrote it, I interpreted it as John Stratton.”
On another occasion, he testified that he never knew to whom Agliotti gave the cheques he cashed for him.
“I have no personal knowledge at all.”
The court also heard how Flint cashed cheques for Agliotti marked, on the stubs, with “c.o.p” or “chief”.
“[Agliotti] would say ‘Martin make out a cheque, it is for c.o.p, or it is for chief’, but I had no knowledge of what it meant.
“The cash cheques I would cash personally at the bank [and] give them to Agliotti as soon as possible.”
Flint—dressed in a camel coloured jacket, light blue shirt and navy suit, and his white hair skimming his collar—was the third witness to take the stand as the fourth week of the trial ended.
Flint said when his daughter met Agliotti in 1993 Agliotti was a different man. “He is not the person who appeared in this court. When I met him he drove a battered Nissan and wore clothes from Edgars.
“He was a different person from the one that now is accused of somewhat heinous crimes.”
During cross-examination, Flint got emotional at his family’s involvement in the case.
“You live your life in a certain way and you have certain standards; and these standards get obliterated and you are not aware of that happening.
“I am incredibly uncomfortable and incredibly embarrassed by the entire matter.
“I’m referring to what my family has been through.”
Before his testimony began, Flint was warned about possibly receiving indemnity for corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering charges if he was found to testify “honestly and frankly”.
Muller and Agliotti, who have both served as state witnesses in the case, were warned under the same section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act whereby a person may receive indemnity from prosecution in exchange for testifying for the state.
On Monday the trial will enter its fifth week with an auditor from KPMG expected to take the stand.
A fourth witness, Dean Friedman, is expected to detail an audit of Selebi’s lifestyle and the Spring Lights account.
Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1,2-million he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours.—Sapa