Cwele takes Gilder fight to Constitutional Court
Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele is taking his fight to keep former intelligence coordinator Barry Gilder out of the witness box in Jackie Selebi’s corruption trial to the Constitutional Court.
The Selebi trial was postponed until March 1 on Monday, pending a petition by Cwele and head of the State Security Agency, Jeff Maqetuka, to the Constitutional Court.
This comes after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Cwele’s application for leave to appeal Judge Meyer Joffe’s ruling on Friday.
Joffe ruled last year that Gilder, the former head of the national intelligence coordinating committee, was obliged to testify in Selebi’s trial about a draft national intelligence estimate alleging that Selebi was receiving money from murdered mining boss Brett Kebble.
Joffe ruled that Gilder should testify in camera and only be confined to testify about matters he had personal knowledge of.
However, Cwele’s legal team argues that intelligence legislation and the Criminal Procedure Act makes provision for intelligence officials not to be subpoenaed to testify and that Gilder can contribute nothing to the state’s case.
The SCA dismissed these arguments and Cwele will now have to convince the Constitutional Court of his case.
Joffe ruled that Cwele and Maqetuka should file their papers by next Monday.
An annoyed Joffe said the Selebi trial was being unduly delayed by Cwele’s application.
‘I’m not sure how long it can be held up ...
My feeling is that this trial can’t be held up indefinitely”.