O'Sullivan to do battle with the Hawks

2016-07-27 10:20
Paul O' Sullivan outside court. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Paul O' Sullivan outside court. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan has laid a complaint with the Hawks watchdog against its Gauteng boss Prince Mokotedi and other members over their alleged misconduct.

He wanted answers about what he alleged was the Hawks’ gross abuse of power, the “monstrous abuse” of his constitutional rights, and Mokotedi’s alleged unlawful appointment, he said in his complaint.

He intended submitting a similar complaint to the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

"I expect and am ready for further ‘push-back’ as a result of standing up for my rights and taking a strong stand against corruption in South Africa," he said on Tuesday.

He further instructed his lawyers to apply to the High Court to stop "the systematic abuse of my constitutional rights, by Mokotedi and his accomplices". He would bring a "substantial" damages claim against the State.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they would not be drawn into a "public spat" on O'Sullivan's allegations.

"Mr O' Sullivan, just like any other citizen in this country, has got the right to approach any institution to address whatever concerns he has."

Selebi to book

O'Sullivan said the catalyst for his "abuse" was his contribution in bringing late former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi to book for corruption.

He said Mokotedi testified during that trial on Selebi's behalf, and his evidence was rejected.

“His bias was exacerbated by my persistent fight against corruption, in which I implicated persons near and dear to him.”

O'Sullivan said he failed to understand how Mokotedi could have been considered "fit and proper” to be appointed to the Hawks.

He cited Mokotedi's evidence in the Selebi trial and a judgment Investec bank obtained against him for a debt in excess of R100 000 following credit card abuse. In addition, he stated he was “100% JZ” (Jacob Zuma) on his Twitter account, which "shows an association inimical to unbiased conduct".

Publicly available court documents show Investec secured two judgments by default against Mokotedi and his wife. These related to payments on a R1m bond and a R100 000 credit card bill. Mokotedi owed nearly R10 000 on another credit card.

Mokotedi previously told News24 he only found out about the default judgments against him in January, after they were handed down in December. He said his attorneys had since entered the fray and arranged a payment plan with the banks. He maintained he was in the clear.

No security clearance

O'Sullivan referred in his complaint to a story News24 published in June, according to which Mokotedi did not have security clearance after several months of leading the Hawks in Gauteng.

"Security clearance is a very long process. They can’t give you security in one day. The head must first say I am suitable for the post, then the process unfolds," he said at the time.

In his complaint, O'Sullivan highlighted the controversy surrounding Mokotedi's time at the National Prosecuting Authority, where he headed the integrity management unit. Mokotedi resigned before facing disciplinary action on multiple charges of misconduct. He allegedly leaked a report about an investigation he initiated and steered into former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.

Earlier this month, O'Sullivan appeared in court for allegedly contravening Section 26B of the Citizenship Act because he had left the country on his Irish passport. He was the first person ever in South Africa to be charged with the offence.

During the case, the Hawks disclosed they were investigating a slew of charges against him, ranging from fraud, to kidnapping, and espionage.

O'Sullivan maintained the charges were malicious, opened by people he had previously investigated, and an attempt to stop him from investigating corruption within the police and NPA.

In his complaint O'Sullivan detailed several of the "trumped up" cases against him. He also mentioned his arrest in April this year for leaving the country on his Irish passport.

He said Mokotedi visited him while he was being detained, and promised that he would be released on so-called "police bail", provided he disclosed to the Hawks information that was not relevant to his arrest.

"I agreed because I was desperate at that stage to be released as the events and circumstances of my arrest and the detention were emotionally draining and it physically and psychologically impacted on me.”

Ridiculously stringent bail

After he had disclosed the requested information about now-retired Lieutenant General Vinesh Moonoo to Mokotedi and other members of the Hawks, Mokotedi told him that the prosecutor, one advocate Maema, had overridden his decision to grant him police bail.

O'Sullivan said that at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court that Monday, Mokotedi and Maema told him he would remain in custody because they had not finalised their investigations.

O’Sullivan said when his lawyers made it clear to Mokotedi and Maema that they had recordings confirming the undertakings that bail would not be opposed, the State agreed to ridiculously stringent bail conditions.

Mulaudzi said Mokotedi’s security clearance would be finalised in due course.

"Stringent security checks are done prior to a person being appointed in the SAPS and DPCI.  If there was any anomaly he won't be here. So what is the issue here?"

Mulaudzi said the Hawks would not comment on O'Sullivan's allegations, including the Investec judgments, the “100% JZ” statement on Twitter, and the “police bail”.

“We don't dwell on personal issues regarding our members in public.”

Read more on:    npa  |  hawks  |  paul o'sullivan  |  crime

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