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Police plead ignorance for re-arresting Paul O'Sullivan

About a dozen officers arrested O’Sullivan shortly after he left his attorney’s offices in Centurion on Monday night.

Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan. Picture: Tara Penny/EWN.

PRETORIA – The police’s legal team has pleaded ignorance as their defence for not abiding by a court order which requires officers to give private investigator Paul O’Sullivan 48 hours’ notice to present himself at a police station if he is to be arrested.

About a dozen officers arrested O’Sullivan shortly after he left his attorney’s offices in Centurion on Monday night but the High Court in Pretoria ordered his immediate release about six hours later.

AfriForum, which represents the private investigator, says it will now seek a contempt of court order against the arresting officer.

Judge Francis Legodi was at pains to explain to the police’s advocate David Mtsweni what the court order obtained by O’Sullivan meant for his clients.

“It doesn’t say he can’t be arrested but it puts an obligation on you to give him 48 hours’ notice to present himself at a designated police station. So I don’t think there’s any notion that he can’t be arrested.”

AfriForum's Willi Spies says the police have flouted the law.

“We’re here to enforce and order that was granted in November last year already. Unfortunately the police decided to disregard this order to be in contempt and the court actually sanctioned what we asked for.”

Spies says he wants the arresting officer, Brigadier Ncube, to personally explain to the court why he should not be held in contempt.

'DIRTY TACTICS'
O’Sullivan has accused acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane of engaging in dirty tactics in order to derail the corruption investigation against him.

The police arrested O’Sullivan’s employee Sarah Jane Trent on Friday afternoon on charges of impersonating an official from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

She was released on Sunday night when she threatened to approach the High Court in Pretoria with an urgent application to declare her arrest and detention unlawful.

O’Sullivan has accused the police of unlawfully arresting Trent.

“They tied her hands with cable ties, they didn’t comply with her constitutional rights and after tying her hands, they drove around with her in the car three hours.”

He said Trent has been falsely accused of impersonating an Ipid official.

“What Phahlane is doing is trying to disrupt the investigation and he does that by sending these Gestapo-styled tactics.”

It’s understood Trent will appear in court on Tuesday.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)