Selebi prosecutors accused of abusing state funds

NPA senior investigator Prince Mokotedi has accused the prosecution team in the trial of former police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi of abusing state money from the confidential C-Fund.

On his first day in the witness stand in April, Selebi accused the Scorpions of running the irregular “C-Fund” to pay “nonexisting informants and sources”.

As the fifth witness in Selebi’s defence case, Mokotedi testified that since taking over the C-Fund investigation in 2004, the Directorate of Special Operations’ top management made it difficult for him to access information to further the case.

He accused former DSO head Leonard McCarthy of denying him the power to investigate according to Section 28 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act and ignoring a report he made implicating Selebi’s prosecutor Gerrie Nel in siphoning money from the C-Fund.

“Senior officials of the DSO, including Nel, were implicated in abusing the C-Fund. I did make management aware of this. But I was limited and had no choice but to go to the police about the information,” said Mokotedi.

Though Mokotedi didn’t go into details about the investigation and it’s outcome, he however told the court that the DSO received tip-offs from members of the South African Police Service and passed it on as their own.

“I am conviced, now more than ever, that senior members of the DSO were misusing funds,” he said.

Asked by defence counsel Jaap Cilliers how NPA members had reacted to his investigation, Mokotedi said he was “harassed and removed from his position”.

He said two advocates who were assigned to assist him withdrew from the case after only two weeks because they weren’t comfortable investigating their own colleagues.

Nel began his cross-examination by accusing Mokotedi of coming to court only to mention his name.

“You agreed to testify so you could say Nel was involved”, he snapped at Mokotedi. Mokotedi denied this, and made reference to a memorandum Nel had written, requesting R80 000 for a source who supplied information about the shipment of drugs into the country.

The case was postponed to Friday in order to get a witness from Mozambique. Cilliers said the defence will then close its case.

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