Stop me if you can. So said forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivanin a daring e-mail threatening to expose alleged corrupt activities by President Jacob Zuma and top police officials.
This was to be exposed at a media conference in London on Monday, but a 15-member Hawks team on Friday night stopped him. They arrested and handcuffed him in front of his children after the family had boarded a plane to London.
The children were meant to start school in the UK on Monday.
O’Sullivan made the threat two weeks ago, and many others, in e-mails copied to The Star.
In one he stated: “I have just come from a top secret meeting and an amount of R20 million has now been pledged, to be used to stop the Zupta crooks (including the infiltrated and criminalised SAA/NPA/Hawks/SAPS) in their tracks.”
He had also mentioned dates of when he would be leaving the country and that the press conference’s purpose was “to tell the world that SA has been taken over by a corrupt regime of Zupta-led criminals and that the world must now boycott SA in every way possible, just like they did during apartheid, until the people run the country again”.
O’Sullivan called The Star after his arrest, saying he was waiting for his wife to fetch the children at the airport.
“They arrested me in front of my children. They planned this, a Friday night, so that I would spend the weekend in jail,” he said.
Over a few months O’Sullivan has lodged complaints with police of corruption, perjury and defeating the end of justice against Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza, acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane and head of detectives Vinesh Moonoo.
He has sent out mass e-mails, some The Star has seen, to police officials and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate officials, detailing the corruption allegations and threatening he would “pursue them until the bitter end”. In the many e-mails he often attached affidavits detailing the alleged offences.
He indicated he had supplied the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law with information against Ntlemeza and Phahlane.
The foundation launched a court application against Ntlemeza last month, calling for his removal from office.
Shortly after, the foundation was robbed of its computers under suspicious circumstances.
The police officials have all, at various points, denied the allegations which O’Sullivan raised.
O’Sullivan’s attorneys and DA MPL Kate Lorimer indicated to The Star they believed trumped-up charges were used as a form of revenge for the complaints O’Sullivan lodged against the police officials.
In a statement, his attorneys said that O’Sullivan was arrested on Friday night in terms of section 268 of the SA Citizenship Act.
Lorimer said that O’Sullivan had three passports, one from South Africa, and the other two from Ireland and England.
“Paul told me that while he was investigating (Radovan) Krejcir he had information that there was a hit on his life. Because of that, he left the country with a different passport to his SA one. That is what he has been charged for,” Lorimer said.
She said he had been taken to Pretoria Central police station on Friday night and placed in a communal cell. On Saturday, he was apparently moved to “a secret location”.
The attorneys said O’Sullivan was not fleeing the country on Friday and had planned to return on Thursday.
“The police officials under investigation as a result of our client have seized the opportunity to make a Hollywood-style show arrest as part of a clear campaign of retaliation and vilification,” they said.
“We believe the public will see he is merely being punished for having the character to do something about the current process of criminalising the police.”
O’Sullivan will be appearing in court on Monday where, The Star understands, more charges may be laid against him.
According to numerous sources within the Hawks, O’Sullivan has been under investigation for several months for alleged crimes ranging from intimidation to crimen injuria, among others.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the e-mails were intimidatory.
“He even told us he would put us in body bags,” Mulaudzi said.
“But his arrest has nothing to do with the e-mails. He was arrested on an immigration violation, although more charges are pending.” –
Additional reporting by Solly Maphumulo[Source: The Star]