Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Agliotti changes tune in mid-song. Why?

I have always said that at times the best dramas, thrillers and horrors are not in Hollywood, Bollywood or even Nollywood. Our local news bulletins have all the ingredients for a tasty flick.

The shady South African "mafia type," drug lord and fraudster Glenn Agliotti seemed to sing like a canary early week as he gave damning evidence against former top cop Jackie Selebi. It emerged in his testimony how Selebi (who also held the influential position of president of the International Police Agency -Interpol) received over a million rand for giving information and other favours to Agliotti as well as other shady business heavyweights namely, murdered Brett Kebble and Zimbabwean Billy Rautenbach and a Jordanian billionaire Eyhab Jumean.

There was much excitement in the media and here in the blogosphere as juicy details emerged of how Agliotti bought shoes for Selebi and Thabo Mbeki (Size 7s for the former president's "small and broad feet.") Details emerged of how Agliotti earned millions in U.S dollars from being a middle man, enabling access to Jackie Selebi for those who needed favours. Through Selebi he found out that British officials were investigating him for peddling drugs to the UK. Also mentioned were allegations of corruption involving former National Intelligence bosses Vusi Pikoli and to a greater extent Bulelani Ngcuka, (tales are abound of expensive bribes, episonage, mining deals in Zim and the D. R. C, shares in companies, etc). The can of worms was surely open.

Our glee was short lived. Suddenly Agliotti seems to be putty in the hands of Jaap Cilliers, Selebi's lawyer. He breaks down in court and says that he is only testifyng against his friend because of a deal with the state which will see him not being prosecuted for a string of corruption, theft and fraud charges. He implies that the Brett Kebble murder charge hanging over his head is another hold that the state has over him and has forced him to testify. Later in the week he expressed his dislike for Nel, the prosecutor, the man he is meant to be helping to nail Selebi. Suddenly the information he said he paid for might not legally sensitive and confidential information. He now claims not to have had any "improper assistance," from Selebi and in today's testimony he admitted to having created stories in the past to frame people and implicate them.

The question is why the sudden about turn? I have a few possibilites:

@ Japp Cilliers is a brilliant lawyer who has forced the truth out of Agliotti?

@ Agliotti is having an " And you too Brutus?" moment. He feels guilty for betraying his best friend as Brutus did to Ceasar. He is now trying some damage control.

@ Selebi has hinted that he is "ready to drop bombshells." Could Selebi have counter information about Agliotti that could in turn put Agliotti into more trouble and have him lose immunity?

@ Some names of South African and international political and business figures have been and will be mentioned. This case could open not just a can of worms but a pit of serpents! In that case, there are surely powerful forces out there that have become scared and might have "persuaded" Glenn in whatever way, to shut his trap.

Anyone care to speculate on what is going on? I for one will be glued to the TV set, P.C monitor and the tabloids for as long as this saga continues!

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