Paul O’Sullivan, the investigator who worked on the Glenn Agliotti and Jackie Selebi case, has written a letter to The Star urging people not to buy the newly released biography, Glenn Agliotti by Peter Piegl and Sean Newman, reports Brendan Roane.
O’Sullivan is quoted as saying that the book is “a work of fiction” and that by buying it people will be donating money to the underworld. “When criminals start making money out of telling their lies in public, the country is on a very slippery slope indeed”, he said, “Having been shot three times while serving as a police officer on our streets, I certainly do not approve of anyone making money (by) writing a book to brag about their crimes”.
“I beg all South Africans, work together to fight crime, show Agliotti and his accomplices that we do not support him, by shunning him and this book”, stated O’Sullivan’s letter.
Don’t buy Glenn Agliotti’s book.” This is the plea from Paul O’Sullivan, the crime-fighting investigator who helped bring down convicted top cop and former Agliotti ally Jackie Selebi.
“Anyone buying this book is buying a work of fiction and donating cash to the underworld at the same time,” said O’Sullivan in a letter to The Star.
Stephen Grootes invited O’Sullivan and Agliotti onto his Talk Radio 702 show to discuss the issue. O’Sullivan said that Agliotti does have the right to write the book and that everyone is free to buy it but he wants them to “know that they are putting money into the hands of convicted criminals”. He also said that as he understands it Agliotti is trying to present himself as a victim, “when in fact he started Jackie Selebi on the slippery slope that he went on”.
Grootes asked whether it would have been better if Agliotti had just writing the book to tell his side of things and donated all of the money to charity. O’Sullivan said no: “the thing is he can’t clear his name, how can he clear his name? He’s been convicted of drug trafficking. That stash of drugs that I handed over to the Scorpions was worth R250 million, now if that had found its way onto the streets whether it’s in South Africa or elsewhere, it would have caused an enormous amount of misery and I just don’t agree with anybody selling books and making money out of their criminal activities.”
Agliotti responded, saying that he doesn’t receive any money from the sale of the book, as this goes to the authors, “putting the book out there was just to give my version of what happened, what I went through and what my family went through, so Mr O’Sullivan is entitled to his opinion, I don’t hold it in high regard whatsoever but that’s my personal opinion.” When asked why people should believe what’s written in the book, Agliotti said that the book is based on the transcripts from the court case but also includes his opinion about his experience.
John Robbie from Talk Radio 702 also weighed in on the issue, saying that he thinks it comes down to freedom of speech: Agliotti has the right to bring the book out, O’Sullivan has the right to encourage people not to buy it and everyone has the right to choose whether they want to listen to him or not.