JOHANNESBURG – Bickering between the defence and State in the corruption case of former police head Jackie Selebi punctuated proceedings in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.
Defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers and prosecutor Gerrie Nel got into a dispute over whether certain annexures from an affidavit by State witness Glenn Agliotti had been handed over.
As the re-examination of Agliotti got underway, Cilliers said the State was referring to annexures it had not received.
Nel said he was upset at being called a “liar” and was adamant all evidence the defence had requested had been handed over.
Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned court for the two parties to sort out the issue.
During the adjournment, the exchange between counsel appeared heated with Cilliers gesturing with his hand towards Nel.
After the adjournment it was clear the dispute was not resolved, and Joffe said the two parties needed to sort out the issue.
“I don’t want to get involved with an unseeming fight between the defence and the State unless I have to.”
The counsel agreed re-examination of Agliotti would continue but would refer to issues not related to the disputed annexures.
The defence said it would check its evidence bundle and then bring up the issue later on if necessary.
As re-examination resumed, it appeared the order of the judge’s evidence bundle did not correlate with the State’s.
Court then adjourned to sort this out.
Earlier, the defence asked for an application to put on record various complaints against the prosecution.
“We have prepared a brief application for a special entry into the record,” Cilliers said.
“We have complained about the statement we received [from the prosecution very late]. We haven’t received certain statements.”
During last week’s application for his recusal, Joffe told the defence if they had a problem with the prosecutions’ alleged misconduct they should bring it up themselves, rather than expecting him to do so.
“If you felt hard done — and you may have felt hard done by a man with your experience, you would have said ‘we felt hard done by’.”
Joffe later dismissed the recusal bid, saying Selebi’s complaints of alleged bias against him were “unfounded”.
On Monday, Nel appeared taken back by the defence’s application.
“This is the first I have heard about this. I never expected this.”
Selebi is facing a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2 million he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours.