24 April 2024 | 09:00 PM

State presses Selebi over phone calls

Key Takeaways

Former police chief Jackie Selebi’s cellphone records may solve a mystery of an alleged series of calls between him and former spy boss Manala Manzini in January 2008.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned Selebi at length on Tuesday morning about calls between him and Manzini the day after drug-dealer Glenn Agliotti gave spy bosses an affidavit slamming the Scorpions’ investigation into Selebi and Agliotti.

Selebi used the affidavit in his unsuccessful attempt to block his prosecution in January 2008 and Agliotti later retracted statements made in the document, alleging he was drunk when writing the report.

But during cross-examination on Tuesday, without presenting any documents to court and calling it a “hypothesis”, Nel suggested to Selebi that he and Manzini spoke at length after procuring the Agliotti affidavit.

Selebi has strongly denied any involvement in obtaining the affidavit.

Agliotti testified that he handed his statement to Manzini, his deputy Arthur Fraser and former crime intelligence head Mulangi Mphego at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton on January 4 2008.

“If on the 5th of January 2008, eleven past midnight you got a call from Mr Manzini, and at twenty-two past midnight a call from Mr Mphego, would you have remembered it?” asked Nel.

Selebi responded: “I would’ve remembered, but my phone was most probably switched off.”

Selebi agreed that it would be easy to verify with his former secretary at the police if he had indeed made and received these calls.

Nel continued: “If Mr Manzini phoned you 13 times on the Saturday [January 5], would you remember that?” He would have, Selebi said, but he could not remember receiving the calls.

Nel also asked whether Selebi would have remembered if he also made four calls from his cellphone to Manzini on the same day, January 5. “I don’t remember,” Selebi said.

Selebi testified he knew nothing about the procurement of the affidavit until it was faxed to his counsel’s office.

Selebi faces charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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