Sable Mining Case: Key Government Witness At Odds With South African Authorities
Monrovia – Forensic investigator, Paul O’Sullivan, a key government witness in the ongoing Sable Mining bribery trial, has been battling an on-and-off legal wrangle with South African authorities.
Report Lennart Dodoo – [email protected]
FrontPageAfrica has gathered that the Hawks served him a sixth subpoena for a case involving alleged extortion, a fortnight ago.
The Hawks are South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) which targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crime referred to it by the President or the South African Police Service.
The alleged extortion, according to reports, involves Alberton ANC Councilor Neil Diamond.
O’Sullivan and his assistant, attorney Sarah Jane Trent, were arrested in February for allegedly impersonating an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) officer during their investigation into acting Police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane.
His arrest, despite a court order which stated he could be arrested only through a subpoena informing him to be in court, was widely condemned.
Aside from the impersonation case, O’Sullivan faces four other charges: A Bramley case of fraud and extortion, a Rosebank case of kidnapping, the immigration case and a Kempton Park case of extortion, fraud and intimidation.
But O’Sullivan asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe the Police team that arrested him.
In an affidavit filed with Ipid, he called for the officer who arrested him, officer Ncube, and the complainant in the case against him, Major General Ntebo “Jan” Mabula, investigated for alleged contempt of court, unlawful arrest and detention, torture, and defeating the ends of justice
According to O’Sullivan, the complainants in all of the cases are people he has previously investigated and that the Hawks are digging up the cases to try to jail him.
“I am shocked and horrified at the disgracefully unlawful conduct of Ncube and the conduct of the team under Mabula, which is clearly aimed at only punishing me for exposing corruption and therefore amounts to the additional offence of torture,” he says.
A large contingent of Hawks officers, as well as Gauteng Hawks head, Major General Prince Mokotedi, were in court on March 8, FrontPageAfrica gathered.
Prosecutor Jabulani Mlotshwa was giving arguments against an application by O’Sullivan’s advocate, Barry Roux, to have the immigration case discharged.
The case involves six incidents, between March 2015 and February 2016, when O’Sullivan exited and entered the country on his Irish passport.
Using the foreign passport allegedly contravened Section 26 (b) of the South African Citizenship Act.
It was at the height of Czech criminal Radovan Krejcir’s attempts to assassinate him. O’Sullivan’s defense told the court the reason he used this passport was to avoid detection by Krejcir and the corrupt Police officers in his employ.
O’Sullivan was the first person in the country to ever be charged with the offence.
“I intend to pursue these complaints to the bitter end. Not just to obtain redress for myself and Sarah-Jane Trent, against brigadiers and generals in the Police who have abandoned their oath to serve without fear, favor or prejudice and have instead elected to abuse their power and bring about change in the way the Police abuse their power.
“Arresting citizens after the courts close on a Friday afternoon, is nothing short of scandalous and a gross violation of human rights and dignity,” he said, referring to Trent’s arrest,” he added in the affidavit.
He’s part of The Helen Suzman Foundation which recently protested against the appointment of Hawk boss, Berning Ntlemeza.
The High Court in Pretoria, according to reports, declared the appointment unlawful and invalid.
According to a South African news outlet, news24.com, The Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law had brought an application for Ntlemeza’s appointment to be declared irrational and unlawful and set aside, asking the court to refer the appointment back to a selection panel for a new candidate to be chosen.
In March 2015 High Court Judge Elias Matojane ruled that Ntlemeza “lacks integrity and honour” and had made false statements under oath. He was acting Hawks head at the time.
But the charges still hang on O’Sullivan who is expected to take the witness stand soon in Liberia in the case believed to be Liberia’s biggest bribery scandal.
He may be testifying to email exchanges between Co-defendant Varney Sherman and the rest of the co-defendants in the case.
Speaking on his cases in South Africa and involvement in the bribery scandal trial here in Liberia, a South African investigative source here in Liberia told FrontPageAfrica that, “It takes rogue to catch rogue. But this guy is a corruption fighter. And the witnesses trust him.
That is why they are coming to him. He may have been the original source to Global Witness I think.”
In any event he is only one of the witnesses listed. Whether he is called or not, prosecutors do not need him to prove the email or it’s forensics trial. A Liberian IT expert who will also do that.”