Ngcuka, Pikoli accusations emerge at Selebi trial

Accusations against former director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and the wife of former NPA boss Vusi Pikoli again emerged during the corruption trial of former police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi in court on Thursday.

During cross-examination of convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti, defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers brought up an email he said James Tidmarch—a lawyer for ex Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach—had given to Selebi, who is accused of receiving payments from Rautenbach.

He said allegations were made that Ngcuka was suspected of being controlled by foreign intelligence.

“What was further stated was crime intelligence’s worry and government’s worry was that Ngcuka was controlled by foreign intelligence agencies and that they may [control him via means] of blackmail.”

Cilliers said in the High Court in Johannesburg he did not want to elaborate on what this blackmail allegedly could have been.

Cilliers then asked Agliotti if he also understood that Tidmarsh had told Selebi “Ngcuka was especially very interested in the mining situation and mining rights, allegedly in the DRC and also to an extent in Zimbabwe”.

“That is correct,” said Agliotti.

Asked if he believed Pikoli’s wife had been given free shares by Roger Kebble in a black empowerment company with a stake in mining company Simmer and Jack, Agliotti said: “She did and still does.”

Roger was the father of slain mining magnate Brett Kebble.

Agliotti also testified that both he and Selebi had fallen out with Paul Stemmet, once in charge of security for Brett Kebble and also a police informer and reservist.

Agliotti agreed with Cilliers that Stemmet had held a serious grudge against Selebi, because the South African Police Services terminated his services as an informant and also as a police reservist because of “serious dishonest conduct”.

Agliotti also said Stemmet had told him “in his own words” he would go to the Directorate of Special Operations with accusations against Selebi.

There was no love lost between him and Stemmet either, Agliotti said.

“During early 2006 I did not have a relationship with him anymore when he told me he was going to the Scorpions because the accused had basically discharged him.”

‘Box of tissues’
Earlier, Agliotti broke down in tears over having to testify against Selebi.

“My Lord, it’s not easy being here. I didn’t want to be here to testify against my then friend and the accused,” Agliotti said.

Selebi had little sympathy with the man he once called his “friend, finish and klaar”, remarking to reporters that Agliotti would “need a box of tissues” during cross examination.

During cross examination Agliotti eagerly agreed with Cilliers that his relationship with Selebi was based on being “kind-hearted” men involved in charity work while their prosecutors were hatching “absurd” plots against them.

“He [Selebi] regarded you [Agliotti] based on the picture you portrayed that you were actually a very kind-hearted man and that you really involved yourself into welfare issues and charity as well,” Cilliers said.

“My instructions are, Mr Agliotti, that is actually the real point where your relationship with the accused developed. He was also a man passionate with helping the needy, helping the refugees, the people who suffer.

“That was really the issue you and the accused had in common,” Cilliers said.

Agliotti nodded in enthusiastic agreement, no longer sitting with his back toward Selebi.

After proceedings finished on Thursday, a heated discussion between the prosecutor Gerrie Nel and Cilliers emerged over the conditions of Agliotti’s house arrest.

Nel told Cilliers if there was a problem with the matter Agliotti should consult his legal advisors and have the issue addressed on Friday.
- Sapa

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