Scorpions subpoena police for Selebi evidence

The Scorpions have secured a dozen subpoenas against several high-ranking police officers, ordering them to surrender evidence they need to prosecute Jackie Selebi, the Star reported on Wednesday.

Selebi was placed on extended leave in January last year, after he was charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

Selebi’s trial is scheduled to start in the Johannesburg High Court on April 14, when he will faces charges relating to payments of about R1,2-million made to him.

Scorpions investigators began serving the subpoenas on the officers, including South African Police Services chief Tim Williams, on Tuesday.

The police have until January 27 to hand over the documents or appear in court to explain why they won’t.

Randburg Magistrate Stanley Mkhari handed the signed subpoenas to Scorpions investigator Andrew Leask and his team at the Midrand police station on December 2. The police were initially given until Wednesday to respond, but this was extended to January 27.

The Scorpions are seeking evidence that includes documents, correspondence, video footage, case dockets, diaries and top-secret reports relating to the suspended national police commissioner.

Other police officers being subpoenaed include Commissioner Rayman Lalla, who is the divisional commissioner detective services and former crime intelligence boss, and the former head of detective services, Johan de Beer.

It was the Scorpions’ Bad Guys project that ultimately led to the arrest of Selebi last year.

The Mail & Guardian first showed in May 2007, under the headline ‘Selebi’s shady Kebble links” why Bad Guys was such an explosive investigation—the article detailed Selebi’s links to shadowy figures associated with slain businessman Brett Kebble.

Prominent among these figures was Glenn Agliotti, whom the commissioner brazenly insisted was ‘my friend, finish and klaar”.

Agliotti, who has since been named as ‘the Landlord” in an international narcotics syndicate, was arrested for Kebble’s murder in November 2006.

Among allegations reported—and denied by Selebi—is that Agliotti and Kebble’s former security consultant, Clinton Nassif, had made untoward payments to the commissioner. Nassif was another member of the network identified in the original M&G article.
He too, was implicated in Kebble’s murder.

Last June Thabo Mbeki—who has since been recalled from office—extended Selebi’s contract by a year.

Last week Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa requested President Kgalema Motlanthe to replace Selebi.

“[The minister] has made a representation to the president, putting the facts in terms of making sure that a new permanent commissioner takes over, to make sure there is control of the South African Police Force,” said Mthethwa’s spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Mthethwa told Talk Radio 702: “We need stability [on] that front so we need a permanent commissioner. So we’ve done that proposal; it’s with the president. It’s the president who appoints the commissioner.”

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