Axed prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli on Monday afternoon accused former police chief Jackie Selebi of attempting to “deflect attention away from the very serious charges he is facing” and create the impression that he [Selebi] is a “victim”.
This comes after Selebi told the South Gauteng High Court on Monday he was being prosecuted after discovering that Pikoli and his predecessor, Bulelani Ngcuka, had improper business dealings with dodgy businessmen.
Selebi’s senior counsel, Jaap Cilliers, told Judge Meyer Joffe his client’s case was that he was being maliciously prosecuted because he supported the dissolution of the Scorpions and because of his “discoveries” of alleged wrongdoing by Pikoli and Ngcuka.
In a plea explanation read out to court by Cilliers, Selebi accuses Pikoli of obtaining a “material gratification through his wife from the late Brett Kebble/JCI Group in an improper way”. The “gratification” consisted of shares in mining company Simmer & Jack.
After confronting Pikoli about this, Pikoli “became very emotional” and allegedly said to Selebi that his wife is his “Achilles’ heel”.
Selebi further accuses Ngcuka of attempting to extort a bribe from former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach’s lawyer, James Ramsay. This, according to Selebi, was during a discussion with Ngcuka about a possible plea bargain for Rautenbach.
“The information was further that Ngcuka tried to extort a bribe from Ramsay and that he was more interested in information regarding mining rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe than in the offences that Rautenbach allegedly committed.”
Ngcuka earlier on Monday rejected Selebi’s claims “with contempt” and said the former police chief was trying to create a “sideshow”.
According to Pikoli’s lawyer, Aslam Moosajee of Deneys Reitz attorneys, the Pikolis deny receiving any gratification from Kebble of the JCI Group.
“Ms [Nozuko] Pikoli does not own any shares and did not previously own any shares in Simmer & Jack Limited and Jaganda (Pty) Limited. Ms Pikoli owns 2% of the shares in Vulisango (Pty) Limited, in which she became a shareholder, after Mr [Lizo] Njenje (a close friend of hers) invited her to take up a shareholding in Vulisango (Pty) Limited. Ms Pikoli had no business dealings with Mr Kebble.”
Njenje was appointed the new head of the National Intelligence Agency on Friday.
Moosajee further states that Selebi did not previously raise any concerns about Ms Pikoli’s shareholding with Vusi Pikoli.
“Mr Selebi did not meet with Mr Pikoli in that regard. The directorate [of] crime intelligence has never approached Mr and Ms Pikoli in regard to the matter.
“It is clear that Mr Selebi’s latest allegations are an attempt to deflect attention away from the very serious charges he is facing and a ruse designed to create the impression that Mr Selebi is a victim,” the statement read.
Joffe adjourned the case against Selebi on Monday morning after chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel assured the court he would be ready to proceed with his first witness on Tuesday morning.
Selebi’s friend and convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.