By Karyn Maughan
The National Prosecuting Authority has officially recognised that mining magnate Brett Kebble orchestrated his own murder.
And it has provided a list of 50 named witnesses that it hopes will prove that Jackie Selebi's avowed friend Glenn Agliotti and Kebble's former business partner John Stratton were heavily involved in the tycoon's bizarre assisted suicide plot.
The NPA, represented by deputy director Andrea Johnson, this morning (Monday) scheduled Agliotti's conspiracy to murder and murder trial to start on July 27 2009 in the Johannesburg High Court, where it is set down to run for four days.
The trial's witness list - which was obtained by The Star this morning - includes murdered socialite Hazel Crane's son Anthony, Kebble's father Roger, BEE entrepreneur Sello Rasethaba and self-confessed drug dealer Clint Nassif.
While Nassif has admitted hiring the shooters who shot and killed Kebble in a faked "assassination" in September 2005, the names of the hit men have not been included on the witness list.
Also on the witness list are 19 police and forensic witnesses, the two paramedics who attended the Kebble murder scene, three cell phone experts, a sushi restaurant staff member and residents from the Melrose area where Kebble was killed.
According to the indictment, which partially echoes a statement made by Agliotti when he was arrested for Kebble's murder two years ago:
"(Agliotti), with the deceased (Kebble), John Stratton and other persons, discussed various means and/or methods by which to kill the deceased.
"At first it was decided that a tablet or poison should be obtained which would be given to the deceased to terminate his life. The idea was later abandoned. Other means and ways to kill the deceased was discussed."
Agliotti maintained that the poison plan involved drugging Kebble's pilot, rather than Kebble himself.
The indictment further states:
"It was then agreed that (Kebble) would be shot along a quite (sic) darkened street. (Agliotti),Stratton and (Kebble)...decided that the shooting of (Kebble) would be made to look like an assassination.
"There were frequent meetings to discuss how far the process of eliminating (Kebble) was...
"On the evening of the 26th of September 2005, the first attempt to shoot and kill Brett Kebble was made. Because the car the shooters were driving in began to over-heat they had to abandon the plan to kill Brett Kebble that evening.
"At approximately 7.30pm on the evening of the 27th of September 2005, the shooters met.. near the Bird Sanctuary near Melrose Street, the shooters saw (Kebble's) car and pulled up alongside him.
"Several shots were fired at (Kebble) who was still in his Mercedes. The shooters then drove away and Mr Brett Kebble died from his gun shot wounds."
It will be the State's case that Agliotti and Stratton - whose extradition from Australia the NPA has not yet requested - worked with "other persons" in the execution of Kebble's death plot.
But the NPA has also admitted that "precisely when, where and in what manner the common purpose was formed is at present unknown to the State".