O'Sullivan asks court to interdict Hawks

2016-09-29 10:58
Paul O’Sullivan (Mary-Ann Palmer, Netwerk24)

Paul O’Sullivan (Mary-Ann Palmer, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan has launched a high court application detailing what he believes are “politically motivated” reasons why a unit within the NPA and the Hawks has been investigating him.

In court papers, he asked that the High Court in Pretoria grant an interdict stopping the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU) from investigating or supervising any of a number of criminal cases against him.

He filed the application before the court this week, listing as respondents the National Director of Public Prosecutions, the ministers of justice and correctional services, and police, acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, Head of the Hawks Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza, Head of the Hawks in Gauteng Major General Prince Mokotedi, advocates Sello Maema and Jabulani Mlotshwa, and Warrant Officer Kobus Vlok.

In the application, O’Sullivan said the PCLU is not following their mandate in investigating him and appears “to be behind almost all of what the media reports as politically motivated investigations and prosecutions in South Africa”.

It was formed by a presidential proclamation by Thabo Mbeki in 2003, according to which its job is to investigate serious national and international crimes.

“Nowhere in the above proclamation is there any reference to the types of offences that the unit is looking into me for,” O’Sullivan said.

“Its focus now seems to have shifted to prosecuting people that will or are able to expose high-level corruption.”

O’Sullivan has been charged for alleged offences including contravention of the Citizenship Act, fraud and kidnapping.

Dudu Myeni (GCIS)

Investigating Duduzile Myeni

In an affidavit, O’Sullivan said there are two matters he believes made him the focus of investigation: his probe into and the ultimate conviction of former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi and an investigation and the opening of criminal dockets against SAA chairperson Duduzile Myeni.

“I uncovered instances of fraud and corruption implicating Ms Myeni. I sent her an email in November 2014 in which I told her that if she did not resign from SAA, I would expose her misconduct in the media. In that email, I explained to her that private detectives had approached me to solicit my assistance in obtaining cellular phone records and bank records of three directors at SAA. I knew that the instruction emanated from her. I explained to Ms Myeni in my email that I regarded her conduct in making the unlawful request as ‘unacceptable’,” O’Sullivan said.

He looked into SAA’s appointments of Quartile Capital, a company that had judgments against it and was involved in a purported R6 billion deal to acquire new aircraft and lease them to SAA, and a contract awarded to an unknown company, BNP Capital, to source funding for the airline.

These cases led to O’Sullivan opening two criminal dockets against Myeni, he said in the court application.

He believes these cases caused him to bump heads with high-ranking officials “who believe that my investigations threaten to expose the corrupt activities of people that are near and dear to them”. This is why he has been the target of law enforcement.

The investigator said Mokotedi, who has led the PCLU in investigation him, has had a long-standing antagonism towards him.

He said that during his investigation into Selebi, O’Sullivan received resistance from Mokotedi, who was in the NPA at the time.

O’Sullivan mentioned that he is currently suing Mokotedi in two cases of defamation worth R1.5 million in total.

“There is a well-published history of animosity between us. He clearly cannot act impartially when it comes to me. He has an axe to grind and he had demonstrated this repeatedly and in the most public of forums,” O’Sullivan said.  

President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

‘Mokotedi supports Zuma’

He said Mokotedi made it no secret he was a supporter of President Jacob Zuma. In one Twitter status, Mokotedi said he was “100% JZ”.

“The Dudu Myeni saga, which pits me against President Zuma’s close friend, Ms Myeni, has aggravated Major-General Mokotedi’s antagonism towards me,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan was arrested in April this year for allegedly contravening section 26B of the Citizenship Act because he was exiting the country with his Irish passport.

“During the trial, on what can best be described as a relatively minor statutory offence, Mokotedi and as many as eight to 10 senior officers of the Hawks were hanging around the courtroom during proceedings. I am left wondering, with the high amounts of crime in South Africa, how it befits such a blatant waste of police resources whilst publicly demonstrating what they can and will do to anyone that attempts to expose the criminal conduct and corrupt activities of senior state employees in the criminal justice system.”

O’Sullivan said that since the mandate of the Hawks is to investigate serious crime and that the contravention of section 26B is not a serious crime; he believes the Hawks had an ulterior motive for being there.

The investigator alleged in the affidavit that warrant officer Vlok illegally took a mirror image of his computer and, based on the information he found there, was resuscitating old cases against him.

He said the cornerstone of the criminal justice system was that those vested with power must exercise it without fear, favour, or prejudice.

‘Abuse of power’

“Major-General Mokotedi and other functionaries are abusing their powers. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this abuse is that its purpose is to suppress the exposure of corruption, committed by persons in high office within the criminal justice system and state-owned companies. Alternatively, it is revenge for such exposure,” O’Sullivan said.  

O’Sullivan asked that the cases against him be investigated at station level, without interference from the PCLU.

Also read: O'Sullivan tries to halt imminent arrest

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that until due process of the law is complete they would not comment.

“We always practice extreme caution as the law takes it course and avoid a court of public opinion,” Mulaudzi said.

O’Sullivan would appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for the Citizenship Act matter and for a case Myeni opened against him.

O’Sullivan, previous SAA chief executive Monwabisi Kalawe, and the chief operating officer of the Mogale city council have been charged with extortion, intimidation, fraud, forgery, and uttering. The charges relate to forged papers that surfaced last year and which allegedly showed Myeni was hiding ill-gotten funds in overseas bank accounts. 

Read more on:    npa  |  hawks  |  dudu myeni  |  jacob zuma  |  paul o'sullivan  |  court

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