Court Asked to Order Probe Into Conduct of Police Chief
Johannesburg : In the first case of its kind in South Africa, the Johannesburg High Court has been asked to order a commission of inquiry into actions of police chief Jackie Selebi.
The plea for the probe was made by the former head of Airport Security, Paul O'Sullivan, who believes he has been the target of intimidation and attempted assassination since the high-profile cancellation of a security contract at Johannesburg International Airport.
O'Sullivan is now asking the court to order the minister of safety and security to hold an inquiry into the conduct of Selebi, and report to the court.
He said in court papers that he had laid charges of attempted murder and intimidation in Bedfordview in December 2001.
According to the affidavit, O'Sullivan made when he laid the charge, two men followed him from the Airport Company of SA's offices and aimed a firearm at him at the robots. However, he escaped.
O'Sullivan said he was repeatedly asked, by a senior police officer and his former employer Monhla Hlahla, to withdraw his complaint. He did so as he felt his job was in danger.
He said there had been another attempt on his life in January 2002, after which he had sought to re-instate the charges. The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) had again promised to investigate but he had received no reports on the matter.
O'Sullivan said he met the head of the ICD, advocate Karen McKenzie, at a conference in Ireland during November 2003. She had said the investigator who handled his case had been fired and she had promised to look at his complaint.
O'Sullivan said he had phoned her "20 times" back in South Africa, but she had not returned his calls. He had then written to the Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, but had received no reply.
O'Sullivan said he believed the attempt on his life might have had something to do with Acsa cancelling the airport security contract with Khuselani Security. He claimed he was intimidated by Selebi when it became clear the contract would be cancelled. Selebi had told him not to cancel the contract and told him he "intended to take over security at all the airports".
He also believed Selebi was involved in his dismissal from the police reservists.
O'Sullivan said he did cancel the contract but was then told he had "ignored the direct instructions of the National Commissioner of Police".
Subsequent legal action by Khuselani to have the contract reinstated was dismissed by the Johannesburg High Court.
O'Sullivan said he believed Selebi was a close friend of Khuselani Security head Noel Ngwenya.
O'Sullivan said in his letter to Nqakula he believed Selebi had something to do with the subsequent arrest of Mashudu Romano, chairman of Acsa, for being an illegal immigrant.
O'Sullivan has called for the investigation of the arrest of Romano; the "unlawful investigation" into his own affairs and his discharge from the police reservists; and the detention of former intelligence operative Bheki Jacobs, who allegedly compiled a docket on a conspiracy to kill President Thabo Mbeki.
The case is to be heard on March 30.
With acknowledgements to Estelle Ellis and the Cape Times.