More shocking claims on Mbeki's close ally

Johannesburg – More claims emerged about former chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka in court on Tuesday, as convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti testified on the second day of the graft trial of ex-top cop Jackie Selebi.

Agliotti testified after the lunch break about how he met ex-Hyundai boss and mining businessman Billy Rautenbach in Zimbabwe for the first time.

Rautenbach had requested to meet Agliotti because he had heard that he was connected to Selebi.

At that stage, a warrant of arrest had been issued against Rautenbach on tax evasion charges.

He told Agliotti he had information incriminating Ngcuka that Selebi could use.

"Billy was of the opinion that… Ngcuka had abused his powers within his office to conspire against him, and secondly, Billy indicated to me that Ngcuka had tried to extort a bribe for certain favours in exchange for information," said Agliotti.

Letter signed by Ngcuka

Rautenbach gave him a file which contained a letter from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) addressed to Rautenbach’s attorney in London, signed by Ngcuka.

"He wanted me to hand the document to the accused as it would serve good purpose for Billy Rautenbach and to discredit Bulelani Ngcuka.

"I handed it to the accused. He said he would look into the matter," said Agliotti.

In the letter, read out in court and written on an NPA letterhead, Ngcuka apparently said he believed there was a real possibility of finding a "mutually beneficial resolution" between Rautenbach and the NPA.

Money-laundering

Ngcuka said to Rautenbach’s lawyer that it was "important for your client to convince us about his bona fides in order for us to take the process forward".

Ngcuka wanted to know if Rautenbach was aware of any bank accounts being used by members of foreign governments to launder money.

Agliotti said Rautenbach paid him US$100 000 for talking to Selebi and handing over the letter.

"Well, I told Billy I wasn’t going to do it for nothing," said Agliotti.

He gave Selebi US$30 000 of that money.
Rautenbach also requested Agliotti to ask Selebi if he could find out for him if there was an international warrant of arrest against his name.

"I asked the accused if he could kindly check with Interpol if this was the case and he told me that there was not a warrant out for his arrest internationally but only in South Africa."

Paid for Interpol dinner

Selebi was the head of Interpol but stepped down from his position after charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice were brought against him, related to payments he allegedly received from Agliotti, Rautenbach and slain mining boss Brett Kebble.

The court also heard that Agliotti paid R30 000 for an Interpol dinner in France to give Selebi the chance to campaign for votes for the position in Interpol, which he eventually secured.

Rautenbach is also on the State’s witness list.

He made a deal on behalf of his company on September 18 which saw tax evasion charges dropped if he paid a R40m fine. This was after he had been on the run from South African authorities for a decade.

Selebi has argued that the case against him was cooked up by Ngcuka and his successor Vusi Pikoli, and on Monday his attorney said Ngcuka had been fabricating evidence against him and had tried to solicit a bribe from Rautenbach.
 

– SAPA