Former police chief Jackie Selebi admitted on Tuesday that he used his position to declassify a document for his former friend, drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.
Selebi admitted for the first time in the South Gauteng High Court that he declassified a document containing the names of alleged information-peddlers and showed it to Agliotti after hearing the allegation that he [Selebi] was receiving money from the Kebble family.
The court earlier in the trial heard testimony from former intelligence coordinator Barry Gilder that this allegation made its way into a draft national intelligence estimate (NIE) report, but that it was removed and he [Gilder] apologised to Selebi for it.
According to the draft NIE, Namibian-South African businessman Jurgen Kögl provided the intelligence service with the information that Selebi was allegedly being bribed.
Kögl gave evidence that although he heard the rumour, he never passed it on to the intelligence services.
The state is alleging that Selebi showed the draft NIE report to Agliotti, who testified Selebi showed him a document containing Kögl’s name.
Until now Selebi has denied showing Agliotti intelligence reports. Asked by chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel if he showed Agliotti any other documents containing Kögl’s name, Selebi dropped the bombshell.
“Yes. I showed him a document containing information about information-peddlers. Kögl would’ve been included in that.”
Selebi said he showed it to Agliotti because he was “dealing with a peddler [Kögl] spreading wrong info about myself”, and because Agliotti could find out who Kögl was quicker than his own crime intelligence department.
Selebi admitted declassifying the document to show to Agliotti “because I had the power to classify and declassify documents”. He thought the document was compiled by former head of crime intelligence Mulangi Mphego, who had to agree to the document being declassified.
Asked by Nel why he hadn’t handed the document to his legal team to show Agliotti during cross-examination, Selebi said: “I’m not going to solve the prosecution’s problems — I’m here to protect myself and I will protect myself.”
After repeatedly being asked by Nel why he showed the document to Agliotti, Selebi said: “I am getting tired of answering the same question 20 times. It doesn’t make me look intelligent, it makes me look stupid. [Nel says] ‘repeat after me’ like I’m in standard one.”
Cross-examination continues on Wednesday.