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Before normative corruption and the Zuma-fication of State apparatus, were we naïve in believing that if police arrested somebody, it generally meant that where there’s smoke there’s fire? Nowadays it’s still ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’, except that the fire has consumed all trust and semblance of integrity in police leadership. They are self-evidently no longer worthy or capable of serving the wider public interest. The fact that controversial senior policeman Major General Ntebo “Jan” Mabula – known for his politically-motivated arrests and a close friend of jailed former police commissioner Jackie Selebi – conducted the very public arrest of Paul O’Sullivan yesterday speaks volumes. A solid ally of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, he openly flouted a court order requiring O’Sullivan to be given 48 hours-notice before any arrest was made. In a portent of some riveting legal battles to come, the arrest took place outside the Pretoria offices of AfriForum, the activist organisation that recently hired top NPA prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, to set up a private prosecutions unit. It took an urgent application to the High Court to have the SAP comply with the existing ‘arrest notice’ court order and get O’Sullivan released. This after camouflage-uniformed policemen carrying R5 rifles on Friday first arrested O’Sullivan’s lawyer and drove her around for hours, refusing her any contact with the outside world. Underpinning it all is the Robert McBride-led Independent Police Directorate’s probe into acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, which O’Sullivan has been actively supporting. Classic Spy versus Spy stuff – only the comic strip characters are more sophisticated. Next week on Spython – will Afriforum use Gerrie to hit back? – Chris Bateman
By Lizeka Tandwa
Pretoria – Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan was released from custody by order of the High Court in Pretoria late on Monday night.
Judge Francis Legodi ordered that the matter be struck off the roll. He reserved judgment on who would pay costs.
O’Sullivan was arrested outside Afriforum’s offices in Pretoria earlier, and taken to the Kameeldrift police station, where he was charged with offences including fraud, intimidation, and extortion.
His lawyers then went to the high court to seek an urgent order for police to release him, and to comply with an earlier order that, should they want to detain him, he be given 48 hours to present himself to a police station.
Legodi rejected prosecutor David Mtsweni’s request to amend the order to state that police could arrest O’Sullivan.
Quintus Pelser, for O’Sullivan, said police were in contempt of the order by arresting his client.
O’Sullivan’s legal adviser, advocate Sarah Jane Trent, was arrested and held over the weekend. Police officers armed with R5 rifles and dressed in tactical response gear drove her around for hours on Friday. She had no contact with her lawyers.
During O’Sullivan’s arrest, AfriForum’s legal adviser Willie Spies read out a high court order to the arresting officer, controversial senior policeman Major General Ntebo “Jan” Mabula.
Spies said police were violating the order between Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, and Hawks boss General Berning Ntlemeza, not to arrest O’Sullivan, but grant him 48 hours’ notice to present himself to a police station.
Spies presented a copy of the high court order to Mabula.
The raid on Paul O’Sullivan’s home was led by one Ntebo “Jan” Mabula. Same dude who once arrested Johan Booysen & Gerrie Nel. Interesting.
— Kgauza wa Lecowza (@KgaugeloSM) February 13, 2017
Earlier on Monday, News24 reported Mabula had taken the lead in Phahlane’s fight back against police watchdog IPID, who is investigating him. O’Sullivan is also investigating Phahlane for alleged corruption.
Mabula has a history of being involved in politically-motivated arrests. He was a close ally of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi and former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. – News24
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