O’Sullivan goes to court to set aside General Lebeya’s “unlawful” appointment

By Chris Steyn

Crime fighter Paul O’Sullivan’s Forensics for Justice (FFJ) has filed an application to the High Court to review and set aside Police Minister Bheki Cele’s appointment on 24 May 2018 of General Godfrey Lebeya as the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) – and keeping him in his post beyond 30 September 2023 without the prior approval of Parliament.

In his affidavit on behalf of FFJ, O’Sullivan states that the appointment and retention beyond a certain date was unlawful because it was done in contravention of certain provisions of the South African Police Services Act.

He stresses that FFJ makes no claims to suggest that General Lebeya is corrupt.

O’Sullivan states that General Lebeya turned 60 on 16 September 2021 and could only permissibly have remained in office beyond 30 September 2023 – two years after turning 60 – if Parliament specially approved it by way of a resolution.

“I strongly suspect, because I can find no record of any such resolution, despite a diligent search, that Parliament did not give its approval by way of a resolution…,” O’Sullivan states.

He describes how he became aware of General’s Lebeya’s age after he obtained a copy of Court Online documents relating to proceedings in the Johannesburg High Court between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and General Lebeya over an outstanding tax debt of R3,140,090,75.

Following that discovery, O’ Sullivan sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa to draw his attention to the matter.

“Although the President did not respond to my letter, SARS were seemingly alerted to the judgment that it had obtained against General Lebeya and promptly withdrew it.” 

SARS’ Notice of Withdrawal of the Certified Statement was dated 11 January 2024 – a mere three days after O’Sulllivan brought the matter to the president’s attention.

He had also forwarded his email to the president to Deputy President Paul Mashatile, but never received a response from him either.

All he received was a “non-sensical” response from the Presidential Hotline.

A date still has to be set for the application to be heard, but if it is successful, General Lebeya will have to vacate his office as the National Head of the DPCI within 30 days of the court order.

Read the Notice of Motion here:

Read the FFJ Founding Affidavit here:

See the Court Online e-mail confirmation of receipt of the Initiating Document here:

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