Agliotti sheds tears in the dock

Emotions ran high in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday morning as former top cop Jackie Selebi chuckled while the state’s star witness, Glenn Agliotti, broke down in tears during his testimony.

While recounting a statement that he had made in support of an application by Selebi to have the charges against him dropped, he stopped, turned towards Judge Meyer Joffe and said, “My Lord, it’s not easy being here. I don’t like [chief prosecutor] Mr [Gerrie] Nel and I say that with respect. The accused doesn’t like Mr Nel and I don’t know many people who do.
I didn’t want to be here to testify against my then-friend and the accused.”

Agliotti was seen wiping tears from his eyes before Joffe adjourned court proceedings for half an hour for Agliotti to “compose himself”.

As Selebi walked out the courtroom, after laughing with his family, he looked jovial as he turned to the media and said: “He will need a box of tissues for tomorrow [Friday].”

It is Agliotti’s third day in the witness-box and cross-examination is expected to begin immediately after his evidence-in-chief.

On Thursday morning, Agliotti told the court that he had dictated and signed an affidavit in January 2008 that was typed by his friend, Tanya Volschenk, at an office in Rivonia.

After printing the statement, they drove to the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton where they allegedly met former spy boss Manala Manzini, his deputy, Arthur Fraser, and the acting head of crime intelligence, Mulangi Mphego.

“What was the purpose of the affidavit?” asked Nel. Agliotti responded: “I had been arrested and put in the Sandton cells for almost a month. I was angry, I was in jail, I was under house arrest. My life had been put on hold. My family was the victim of a house robbery. I was frustrated and angry at the time.” He said that he needed to “appeal to someone” to hear his story.

In the affidavit, Agliotti slams the Scorpions’ handling of the investigation against Selebi.

Earlier, he told the court that on one occasion at the Dainfern Golf Course, where he played regularly, he was told by the director that he had been approached by the Scorpions, who wanted to put a tracking device on his vehicle.

Agliotti says that when he called Selebi to tell him, he was told by the then-commissioner that “if I find the tracker I must remove it and give it to my attorney”.

Nel spent most part of Wednesday afternoon questioning Agliotti about all the favours he allegedly received from Selebi. The state claims that Selebi acted corruptly in exchange for money and clothes from Agliotti.

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