Search and seizure warrant served on O'Sullivan's offices related to Phahlane

Johannesburg - The search and seizure warrant served on Paul O'Sullivan's offices on Friday is directly related to the case against Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

At midday on Friday police descended on O'Sullivan's offices with a warrant and were attempting to seize all his computers.

O'Sullivan, who is currently out of the country, told News24 that police arrived at his offices in Sandton and detained his assistant, attorney Sarah-Jane Trent, and his bookkeeper who were at the offices.

"They are verbally abusing her," O'Sullivan said in reference to Trent.

News24 has seen the warrant compiled by Brigadier Daniel Ncube from the Kameeldrift police station which states that he requested the warrant in relation to investigations against O'Sullivan of intimidation, extortion, fraud, defeating the ends of justice and pretending to be a police officer.

This is the same case which O'Sullivan and Trent were arrested for in February.

House plans

The warrant required that police have access to all desktop computers, laptops, tablets, memory sticks, external hard drives, cellular phones and SIM cards.

Other than Ncube, five police officers are listed as part of the search team.

The warrant was signed at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

In an affidavit signed by Ncube he mentions two witnesses, estate manager of the Sable Hills Estate where Phahlane lives Chris Joost and security manager Johannes Van der Walt, as saying that in December last year two black men, one white woman and a white man came to the estate and identified themselves as Independent Police Investigative Directorate officers.

According to the affidavit, the group asked for the plans of Phahlane's house.

The manager said he refused, but O'Sullivan said that if he did not comply he could be imprisoned for up to two years.

"The witness felt threatened," Ncube said.

'Fishing expedition'

He said photos were taken of the house's plans and emails were subsequently sent to the witnesses by O'Sullivan.

Ncube said they requested the computers, cellphones and hard drives so that their cybercrime unit can establish if O'Sullivan had any data related to the building plans of Phahlane's house.  

AfriForum's Willie Spies said police were still at the house looking for O'Sullivan's computer and mobile phone.

"But Paul is in London at the moment, so those items are not there," said Spies.

He said AfriForum had considered bringing an urgent application before the court to stop the seizure, but has now decided against it.

"It's unlikely they will get anything useful. It is our opinion they are just on a fishing expedition," he said.

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