Hawks attack Biznews and Paul O’Sullivan; plus our Right of Reply

You could have blown me over with a feather. At a time when the country is celebrating the awakening of law enforcement authorities from a lengthy slumber, the Hawks have issued a strong statement dissing Biznews and the subject of yesterday’s interview, Paul O’Sullivan. The law enforcement body claims that contrary to what O’Sullivan told us , he actually had nothing to do with the arrest of Eskom plunderers. Despite being the headline act, the first we heard of the statement was late this afternoon when News24 journalist Canny Maphanga phoned for my comment. As mentioned in the response to News24, we have no idea what is behind the Hawks wanting to distance themselves from what we perceive as an undeniable role played by Paul O’Sullivan. Perhaps his praise of controversial former Eskom CEO Matshelo Koko triggered it. As you’ll read below, the founder of Forensics for Justice has his own view. And it isn’t exactly diplomatic. – Alec Hogg

MEDIA STATEMENT
DIRECTORATE FOR PRIORITY CRIME INVESTIGATION (HAWKS).

20 DECEMBER 2019

HAWKS DENOUNCE BIZNEWS ARTICLE REGARDING RECENT ESKOM ARRESTS

PRETORIA – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) would like to categorically distance itself from an article “O’Sullivan, with Koko’s help, puts Trindade, Eskom accomplices behind bars” published online by Biznews on 19 December 2019, attributed to Alec Hogg.

The article as per the link https://www.biznews.com/undictated/2019/12/19/osullivan-with-kokos-help-puts-trindade-eskom-accomplices-behind-bars suggests that the recent arrests of former Eskom executives and their accomplices was a direct result of Mr Paul O’Sullivan releasing a report with “proof of how a crooked tenderpreneur had siphoned around R60m into the bank account of an Eskom executive”.

The DPCI would like to put it on record that our criminal investigation started in 2017, our investigators have at no stage received aid from any persons whom the article alleges played a “big role in getting these arrests to happen”.

It is worth stating that the matter between the individuals mentioned is a civil matter which we are not in a position to comment on, all enquiries in this regard should be directed to authors and the cited parties.

The DPCI maintains a principled position not to give blow by blow details of ongoing investigations as this invariably compromises the integrity of investigations. Ours is to ensure that due diligence is done with each and every probe to ensure ultimate success in court. Investigations in the Eskom matter are ongoing and the recent arrests are but only the 1st leg that is court ready, hence the suspects in the matter have been brought before court.

Issued by Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation

Communication Services

 

And here’s my Right of Reply as requested by News24 journalist Canny Maphanga. 

Dear Canny

Thanks for alerting me to the statement released by the Hawks late this afternoon and affording me the right of reply which I trust you will publish in full.

Biznews has been reporting on this story since July 2 when under the headline Not only the ‘usual suspects’ were feeding at Eskom trough we published a 37 page docket where Paul O’Sullivan outlined the corruption of Trindade and called for his arrest.

We followed this up with an interview with Paul O’Sullivan on July 2 which was run under the headline: Revealed! Eskom bosses DELIBERATELY allowed coal supplies to dwindle – to feather own nests. Again he called for Trindade’s arrest.

On September 26, I conducted an interview with O’Sullivan in which he unpacked the extent of the corruption. For context, this was on the day when Trindade unsuccessfully attempted to get a gagging order onto O’Sullivan in the Germiston Magistrates court. The headline of this story is Paul O’Sullivan: Back story to R60m Eskom bribery matter, and more.

On Nov 4 we carried an article under the headline Paul O’Sullivan going for Eskom beneficiary, Trindade’s jugular in which the founder of Forensics for Justice said that if the authorities did not prosecute Trindade he would be prepared to pay Gerrie Nel to conduct a private prosecution.

On November 20th we published bank statements provided by Forensics for Justice detailing the money trail between Trindade and his key accomplice, and questioned why Absa Bank had turned a blind eye to such clear evidence of money laundering. The headline here was Explosive evidence! Absa helped state capture specialists convert Eskom loot into cash

And then yesterday we carried an interview with O’Sullivan which the Hawks now object to. The headline of O’Sullivan, with Koko’s help, puts Trindade, Eskom accomplices behind bars appears to have angered them. Given the history, we believe the headline is accurate.

After your phone call I confirmed with Paul O’Sullivan that he opened a docket against Trindade in June; has held multiple meetings with the DPCI and SUI, and handed over his files to them. He also received emails thanking him for his assistance.

O’Sullivan maintains it is linked to his repeated calls for the dismissal of Hawks spokesman Hangwani Malaudzi and an often stated assertion that the Hawks were fully captured in 2017 and 2018 and remain partly captured today. O’Sullivan says Malaudzi is continuing to abuse his position by using it to follow a personal vendetta against him.

Best
Alec
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