22 March 2023 | 07:46 AM

Selebi trial waits on declassified document

Key Takeaways

The corruption trial of former police boss Jackie Selebi was adjourned on Wednesday morning to allow Selebi to go home and fetch an alleged secret report he declassified and showed his former friend and drug dealer, Glenn Agliotti.

Selebi mentioned the existence of the document for the first time in court on Tuesday, and added that he used his powers as police national commissioner to declassify the document to show it to Agliotti. The document contains names of alleged information-peddlers, including that of businessman Jurgen Kögl, who was alleged to have been spreading rumours that Selebi was paid by the Kebble family.

On Wednesday morning, however, Selebi testified he declassified the document for purposes of handing it out at a meeting of the National Security Council. Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel accused Selebi of changing his version “overnight” and questioned him at length about the process of declassification.

When Nel asked Selebi why he hadn’t brought the document to court on Wednesday, Selebi said: “I didn’t look for it. I’ll find it. I will look for it and I will find it. I wasn’t in the mood.”

A long argument then ensued over whether Selebi could go to Pretoria, fetch the document and be back at court at 2pm. Nel eventually asked for a postponement to allow Selebi to fetch the document.

He will hand it over to his attorney on Wednesday afternoon, who will give it to the prosecution before close of business. Nel hinted that he doesn’t believe the document exists.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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

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Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha is a freelance science and health reporter. She is joining the amaB team to work on a project about water and sanitation. Aisha’s passion for long-form narrative and investigative journalism was sparked while doing her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. After graduating in 2018, she returned to South Africa and began working as a general beat reporter for the Daily Maverick. Aisha joined the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in 2020 to focus on science reporting. During her time there, she covered the COVID-19 pandemic extensively — from fact-checking harmful medical misinformation to unpacking the science behind vaccine development. Aisha’s special interests include analysing health systems and in-depth coverage of public health issues and infectious diseases. She also loves spreadsheets and digging through data.

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