Intelligence DG accused of NPA 'vendetta'

Director General of Intelligence Manala Manzini was on Monday accused of waging a vendetta against the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to discredit its investigation into police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

“You are waging a vendetta against the NPA and the [Directorate of Special Operations], and you met with Glenn Agliotti to do that,” said Wim Trengove, advocate for suspended NPA head Vusi Pikoli, during cross-examination of Manzini at the Ginwala hearings in Johannesburg into Pikoli’s fitness to hold office.

Trengove had asked Manzini to confirm an article in the Mail & Guardian, which reported that he had attended a meeting with Agliotti at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, where Agliotti had handed over an affidavit relating to the Selebi corruption investigation.

Trengove also wanted to know how this affidavit became included in Selebi’s application to have the investigation against him stopped, and why he had met Agliotti without his lawyer.

Agliotti pleaded guilty last year to drug-trafficking in exchange for testifying at a drugs trial, and has been charged with the murder of mining entrepreneur Brett Kebble.

He also allegedly made payments to Selebi, who has made initial court appearances related to a corruption investigation against him.

Manzini said he met Agliotti with a policeman after being told that he would be collecting an affidavit relating to a matter of national security. The police stamped and signed the affidavit and he was given a copy.

Manzini at first did not want to answer Trengove’s question on whether he was at the meeting, on the grounds that he did not speak to the media, even though a comment had been attributed to him.

He said he could not discuss his department’s work and that it might be sub judice, given both Selebi and Agliotti’s court cases. Ginwala had earlier told him that he had the right not to divulge information that he felt might compromise national security and that the hearing could go in camera for this.

Manzini’s advocate, Kgomotso Moroka, also objected to not being told about the affidavit that Trengove was referring to. Ginwala also asked where Trengove was “going” by repeatedly trying to extract information on the meeting.

In reply, Trengove said Manzini’s earlier “strident” evidence to the hearing could not carry weight because it “comes from a man who has employed improper means to discredit the NPA”.

Earlier, Manzini told the inquiry that he was shocked to find that six out of nine Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) staffers did not have the necessary security clearance.

He also said that the DSO had had no right to commission the Browse Mole Report, which claimed Angolan and Libyan support for a revolution to overthrow President Thabo Mbeki and bring African National Congress president Jacob Zuma into the presidency.

He said Pikoli had been given a draft of the report in March 2006 by former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy, but did not read it as it did not contain recommendations. He received the final copy in July and only told Manzini then that he had a “hot potato”.

“Section seven of the National Prosecuting Authority Act states that they will conduct information-gathering in regard to evidence meant for prosecution,” he said.

They were “clearly” doing something else.

“They were running a political intelligence project as the Browse Report will point out,” he said.

The NPA had not helped the National Intelligence A with the investigation into the source of this report and the information the NIA found was through their own efforts.

He also accused the DSO of being involved with foreign intelligence services and intelligence matters, which they were not mandated to do.

He said the company that conducted the raids at the Union Buildings, in relation to the investigation against then deputy president Zuma, had not been vetted to do so because its director had been implicated in criminal activities.

Trengove asked him to show the relevant law which said they needed security clearance other than when they were first employed, as the NPA act only made provision for this at this time.

The two engaged in verbal sparring in the afternoon session with Trengove demanding that Manzini not debate the questions put to him and Manzini eventually telling Trengove to “take it easy”.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.—Sapa

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