Selebi cites renovations for spike in expenses

Jackie Selebi’s advocate put a new spin on his financial affairs on Tuesday, telling the South Gauteng High Court the Selebi family experienced a spike in their expenses during 2004 because of renovations at their Pretoria home.

Advocate Jaap Cilliers put it to forensic auditor Dean Friedman that a drop in withdrawals from Selebi’s bank accounts during the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005 could be the result of renovations in mid-2004.

Cilliers handed up a file of cheques and cheque stubs to the court, which show that the family spent a lot of money on renovation-related services from mid-2004 to October 2004.

He used this to explain that a drop in withdrawals at the end of 2004 may be as a result of the end of the renovations at their Waterkloof Ridge home.

Friedman testified on Monday that the decrease in withdrawals from Selebi’s bank accounts indicated that he might have had access to other funding. The period of decreased withdrawals coincides with gangster Glenn Agliotti’s evidence that he gave Selebi more than R300 000 in cash at the end of 2004.

Cilliers further told the court that the Selebi family’s cash flow was boosted at the end of 2004 by a R10 000 shopping voucher from the Taiwanese embassy to spend at Menlyn Park shopping mall.

“The embassy issued [vouchers] to certain families of certain dignitaries and, in fact, a voucher of R10 000 was issued to the Selebi family under this project or occurrence,” Cilliers said.

Earlier, Friedman came under attack from Cilliers for expressing “opinions” on Selebi’s alleged corrupt relationship with Agliotti.

Audit firm KPMG’s forensic department, of which Friedman is a director, was contracted by the Scorpions to perform a lifestyle audit of Selebi’s income and expenses, and also analyse alleged cash payments made by Agliotti to Selebi. Selebi has denied receiving cash from Agliotti.

Friedman told the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday he was asked by the Scorpions to identify certain suspect payments from the Agliotti-controlled Spring Lights account that could’ve been for Selebi’s benefit.

He was given a “draft statement” by Agliotti that listed a number of alleged payments to Selebi, including payments of R110 000 and R200 000 at the end of 2004.

Friedman testified on Monday that Selebi’s cash withdrawals from his own cheque and credit-card accounts decreased dramatically during the first few months of 2005.

He said this indicated that Selebi had access to other funding.

Selebi’s counsel Jaap Cilliers criticised Friedman during cross-examination, accusing him of expressing opinions when his investigation couldn’t prove that any of the Agliotti payments landed up in Selebi’s bank accounts.

“To summarise, Mr Friedman, you couldn’t find proof of any use of cash obtained in an unlawful manner in the Selebi household,” Cilliers said, to which Friedman responded: “If counsel refers to the cash of Agliotti, we didn’t find proof that it was used in the Selebi household, but I indicated a number of questions that arise.”

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