Pikoli believed Selebi and they both cried

National director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli. Pic: Muntu Vilakazi. Circa May 2006. © Sunday Times.

Business Day 16 August 2006, pg 1
National director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli. Pic: Muntu Vilakazi. Circa May 2006. © Sunday Times. Business Day 16 August 2006, pg 1

Suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli and national police commissioner Jackie Selebi wept together at a meeting during which Pikoli questioned Selebi about criminal allegations against him, Pikoli said yesterday.

Suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli and national police commissioner Jackie Selebi wept together at a meeting during which Pikoli questioned Selebi about criminal allegations against him, Pikoli said yesterday.

Testifying at the Ginwala Inquiry in Johannesburg on his fitness to hold office, Pikoli said: "My meeting of the 11th [November 2006] was not an easy meeting for discussions with the national commissioner.

"Because, there I was, sitting with the national commissioner. I have known him from my days in exile. I worked closely with him when I was director-general of justice and now I had to ask him difficult questions based on allegations against him.

"I asked him about money he is supposed to have received and channelled through several accounts," Pikoli said.

"He denied [it] and he was convincing. At the time I believed him. I cried in that meeting. He cried in that meeting. For me it was a cry of relief because I never believed that he could be facing accusations of that nature.

"We cried on each other's shoulders in that meeting and I told him that I believed him when he said he never received the money."

Pikoli said he first came to hear about the allegations that Selebi had received money from drug trafficker and Brett Kebble murder accused Glenn Agliotti when he was asked to go to a meeting with Gauteng director of public prosecutions Charin de Beer in January 2006. He was told there was a problem with the investigation into Kebble's murder.

Police investigators had informed De Beer that when Selebi saw the number of a friend in the investigation file, he had phoned him and told him about it.

"And the friend happened to be Mr Glenn Agliotti," Pikoli said.

He was also told that there had been telephonic contact between Kebble, Agliotti, Clinton Nassif and Selebi.

"Then investigators were concerned, because the telephonic conversations were before the actual [Kebble] murder," he said.

"They were obviously concerned when a suspect in a murder case is called to be told that his number features in the file of investigators who are investigating a murder case."

Pikoli was handed an affidavit that implicated a number of people in drug dealing which included a number of policemen.

"These people were said to be having an association with the national commissioner of police."

Later, when Nassif was arrested, he produced a "very startling" affidavit containing what Pikoli considered were serious allegations. The investigation continued and he initiated briefings with Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla and Mbeki.

He went "beyond the call of duty" to brief Mabandla and Mbeki, Pikoli said.

Pikoli began his testimony by saying he had not been suspended on September 23 last year because of a breakdown in relations with Mabandla, but because he was ordered to stop the investigation into Selebi. - Sapa

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