/ 7 June 2010

Court told of Selebi’s ‘big five lies’

Court Told Of Selebi's 'big Five Lies'

Former police chief Jackie Selebi told “big five lies” to the court and should be convicted of corruption and defeating the ends of justice. That’s what chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the South Gauteng High Court on Monday morning during closing argument in Selebi’s marathon trial.

Nel was vicious in his portrayal of Selebi, calling him “an arrogant and disrespectful person who was over-impressed with his own seniority and perceived importance, and who would ‘crawl’ to no one”.

Nel has so far covered what he calls four lies, which involved Selebi changing his version repeatedly; lying about holding a meeting with then-national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli; pretending to co-author a list of expenses with his wife; and saying that his wife shredded expenditure receipts.

Nel says that the meeting that Selebi claims he had with Pikoli in 2005 never happened at all. In this meeting Selebi claims he had confronted Pikoli about, among other things, shares that Pikoli’s wife received in a Kebble-owned mining company. Pikoli denies that the meeting took place.

The prosecution claimed Selebi was a terrible witness, having changed his version of events several times and on several issues. An example given by the Nel was that Selebi would change his version on how he attended meetings with, or arranged by, drug dealer Glenn Agliotti with parties including Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach and Jordanian businessman Eyhab Jumean.

Selebi also claims that he co-authored an exhibit that shows household expenses, while Nel says that he had no hand in it.

Nel told the court that while Selebi claimed that his wife shredded receipts that would’ve shown the family’s expenses, this never happened. The receipts never existed, because goods were paid for in cash by money that Selebi received from Agliotti, Nel said.

The fifth “big lie” is yet to be heard.

Nel also mentioned Selebi’s consultation with a state witness, Captain Marcus Tema, during the trial. “Even more appalling was his attempt to explain that he never knew Tema was a state witness or that his wife could be a defence witness.”