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Ilham Rawoot, Adriaan Basson11 Nov 2009 16:18
Former police chief Jackie Selebi allegedly offered police training work in Sudan to Brett Kebble’s former security head Clinton Nassif, and got one of Nassif’s associates out of police detention at the request of one of Nassif’s employees.
On Wednesday afternoon Stephen Sander, a private security consultant and former police officer, told the South Gauteng High Court how he and Nassif met Selebi at the Meat Company restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg when Selebi allegedly alerted them to police contracts.
Sander, who was also employed by Nassif’s Central National Security Group (CNSG), testified that Selebi told them the police was sending officers to Sudan and that they could potentially benefit from the contract.
“The accused mentioned he had— a proposition for us,” said Sander. “He was busy with a project in Sudan.
The accused was getting ready to send eighty police to Sudan.
Glenn Agliotti, Selebi’s former friend and convicted druglord allegedly introduced Nassif and Sander to Selebi.
Getting police work
According to Sander Agliotti wanted to assist him and Nassif in getting work from the police who was unhappy with their private security contractor, Palto. However, nothing came of the business offer.
Sander added that Selebi had a “personalised” steak knife at the Meat Company, with his name inscribed on it. “Something peculiar,” said Sanders, “was that [at the restaurant], a waiter walked in with a knife. It had inscribed on it ‘Commissioner Selebi’. I noticed when I walked out, there was a cabinet at the restaurant with knives with important people’s names and initials on it.”
Sander also told the court how he had been employed, through CNSG, to do surveillance work for John Stratton, Kebble’s business partner, using police equipment and vehicles. Judge Meyer Joffe chuckled as Sanders explained that he needed to be “positioned in someone’s garden” to record a conversation between Stratton and business people.
Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel further asked Sander about an incident where Selebi allegedly assisted André Burger, a former police officer and security expert who was convicted of murder in 2007, to be released from police custody in Soweto. The incident occurred before Burger was convicted of murder.
According to Sander Burger was detained by police following the rescue of a kidnapped child. Sander said he had called Agliotti for assistance. Agliotti then gave him Selebi’s number, who he called.
“The accused said he would see what he can do,” said Sander. “I continued to the police station where was being held. Sometime later André Burger was released.”
Paula Roeland, a former police forensic expert, took the stand after Sander, telling the court about a “strange” meeting with Selebi after Brett Kebble’s murder.
According to Roeland she was tasked with determining who called Kebble before his death. She determined that Kebble and Agliotti spoke seven times on the day before his murder.
On the day of Kebble’s murder, all Agliotti’s known phones were switched off.
According to Roeland she and her supervisor Sharon Schutte were called in to a meeting in Selebi’s office about progress with the Kebble case. After she mentioned the difficulty with tracing Agliotti on the day of Kebble’s murder, Selebi allegedly took out his cellphone and made a call.
“He said: ‘Hallo Glenn, what is that story you told me about the reservist?’ After that he said goodbye and put down the phone— I asked the accused [Selebi] whether he spoke to Agliotti. He didn’t answer me and just ignored me. I asked him whether he could give me Agliotti’s number. He told me he doesn’t do numbers and that’s where it ended.”
Selebi’s counsel Jaap Cilliers put it to Roeland that Selebi can’t recall such a conversation and only remembers being upset during the meeting about the fact that civilians removed Kebble’s car from the crime-scene.
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