We don’t surrender – Paul O’Sullivan

Corruption Buster Paul O’Sullivan has revealed how a Hawks police officer and a senior State Prosecutor “filled out their own arrest warrants” when they completed and signed hunting permits for a weekend with a fraud accused. He speaks to BizNews following their appearance in court – and his safe return from Brazil where he thwarted machine gun-toting armed robbers. O’Sullivan has words of praise for the police’s handling of the corruption case involving one of their own, and says there is “a golden thread of goodness in our criminal justice system, and if we have hope, which I have, otherwise I would have been long gone, if we have hope, I think justice will prevail and we’ll see these people go to prison, and I’m hoping that all three of them will get a minimum sentence of 15 years.” Meanwhile, he urges the millions of poor in South Africa “to take a strong, hard look at who is committing the corruption, why the corruption is being committed” – and says the best way to deal with it “is when the elections come around”.Chris Steyn

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:08 – Introductions
  • 00:37 – On his most recent corruption investigation
  • 04:18 – On what he found during his investigation
  • 11:58 – On the death threats
  • 17:10 – On if he believes good guys will win in the end
  • 20:22 – On the future of SA
  • 23:58 – Conclusions

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Highlights from the interview

Corruption Buster Paul O’Sullivan has revealed how a Hawks police officer and a senior State Prosecutor “filled out their own arrest warrants” when they completed and signed hunting permits for a weekend with a fraud accused.

He speaks to BizNews following their appearance in court – and his safe return from Brazil where he saw off machine gun-toting armed robbers.

Describing how hunting permits became damning evidence, O’Sullivan says: “..they put their own ID numbers, their own home addresses, and their telephone numbers, and their vehicle registration numbers, and their own signature. Now, if that’s not prima facie evidence, I’m not quite sure what is, but it was in their own handwriting, and we had the handwriting analysed, and we are satisfied that the individuals in question filled out their own arrest warrants, if you like…those two gentlemen and the person that bribed them are now facing potentially at least 15 years in prison each.”

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O’Sullivan confirms one of the witnesses has received threats, but adds: “I’m used to it. I get threats all the time. And there have been, I don’t know how many attempts there have been – I don’t keep a record – to kill me. But you know, it just goes with the territory.”

He goes on to relate how he thwarted armed robbers in Brazil. “… we were in Rio de Janeiro and we’d been to visit…the Christ Redemption…the big statue. And we just left there and we drove around the corner and there’s a couple of guys on motorbikes with machine guns who wanted us to stop. So I just drove straight at them and then drove away. And one of my daughters said, Daddy, why didn’t you just surrender? And I said, “Well, I’m an O’Sullivan, we don’t surrender.”

O’Sullivan has words of praise for the police’s handling of the corruption case involving one of their own.  “…we also have to remember that in our police service, we have people who fight corruption as well. And we tend to forget that and we think the police are all corrupt….So there is a golden thread of goodness in our criminal justice system, and if we have hope, which I have, otherwise I would have been long gone, if we have hope, I think justice will prevail and we’ll see these people go to prison, and I’m hoping that all three of them will get a minimum sentence of 15 years.”

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Meanwhile, he points out that the biggest victims of corruption in South Africa are the poor. “There are millions of South Africans who are either unemployed or employed, but living on what I consider to be unlivable wages, and they have to survive, and they have to survive not only the trials and tribulations of a difficult life…The electricity is on and then it’s off and then it’s on and then it’s off. But they also are victims of fraud and corruption. In fact, they are bigger victims because it’s the money that should have been used to uplift their lives, which has been stolen. It’s their future that’s been stolen. It’s not my future that’s been stolen. It’s their future. And those people, sadly, are the biggest victims.

“And if anything, they need to take a strong, hard look at who is committing the corruption, why the corruption is being committed, and the best way to deal with it, I think, is when the elections come around. And I try to stay apolitical, so I’m not saying who they should vote for, but they must consider what’s been going on … .Under the government of the last 29 years, what started off to be an African Dream has become an African Nightmare. And the people that have suffered the most, it’s not the white people, although there are some that have suffered, the majority of the suffering has been our African brothers and sisters who are living in abject poverty and their future has been stolen and they have no hope. They certainly have no hope while they have a government that condones all this theft and corruption.”

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