Rautenbach testified that during his period of exile, he and his legal team were in constant contact with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) wanting to resolve his legal matters in South Africa but received a letter from the NPA in 2000 stating that all negotiations had been stopped or in his own words “that the NPA had shut the door on him”.
Over the years Rautenbach has utilised the services of a global pool of talented and experienced business consultants to assist with a variety of his commercial dealings. During his ten year period of exile, he was also approached by a number of business and legal consultants, each presenting him and his legal team with suggestions as to how the charges brought against Rautenbach by the State could be explored and ultimately resolved; Glenn Agliotti was one of these consultants.
Agliotti, who then had an unblemished legal record, approached Rautenbach in early 2003 in Harare, Zimbabwe, and said that he had access to a whole host of people including Selebi, the then National Police Commissioner and Bulelani Ngucka, the then head of the NPA, who would be able to assist with Rautenbach’s legal issues in South Africa.
Agliotti eventually arranged a meeting between Rautenbach’s representative, James Tidmarsh and Jackie Selebi on 19 April 2005 in Johannesburg. The meeting between Tidmarsh and Selebi provided an opportunity for deeper consultation and the seeking of a potential resolution and settlement to the charges brought against Rautenbach. Rautenbach saw this an opportunity for his legal team to state his case to the relevant authorities involved as both he and his legal team firmly believed that the State did not have a case regarding the alleged customs contraventions. Rautenbach today stated that he had wanted to come to South Africa to “face whatever needed to be faced” as he was intent on proving his innocence.
Following the meeting between Tidmarsh and Selebi, Rautenbach met with Agliotti on 22 April 2005 at Lubumbashi Airport, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rautenbach paid Agliotti a consulting fee of US$ 100,000 subsequent to the meeting between Selebi and Tidmarsh.
The fee paid to Agliotti was paid to him personally and was never intended to benefit any third party. The manner in which Agliotti disposed of or spent his consulting fee was at his own discretion and prerogative.
Rautenbach also denied any allegations of being approached by Ngucka to pay a bribe to help resolve his legal matters.
“Once again I am thankful for the opportunity to set the record straight that I was never involved in any impropriety with officials. Now that this issue has been clarified, I look forward to continuing the rebuilding my credibility in the South African and international market place,” concludes Billy Rautenbach