News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
31 May 2017
5:38 am

Ipid members added to O’Sullivan, Trent charge sheet

Virginia Keppler

Magistrate Aubrey Mphahlele ordered the two members not to have contact with the seven witnesses in the case.

Paul O'Sullivan and his assistant Sarah-Jane Trent are seen leaving the Pretoria Magistrates Court, 14 February 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The names of two members of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) involved in investigations into acting national police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, have been added to the charge sheet of private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and his assistant, Sarah-Jane Trent.

The members, Mandlakayise Mahlangu, 44, and Temane Abram Binang, 35, yesterday appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court after they were summoned by the police. 

The state asked the court to remove Mahlangu and Binang from the Phahlane investigation, but their legal representative, Advocate Norman Makhubela, said this was just a “knee jerk” tactic from Phahlane.

The state accused O’Sullivan and Trent of fraud, intimidation and extortion and alleged the two Ipid members were working with them.

Mahlangu and Binang also face charges of conspiracy. The state said they had threatened witnesses and made misrepresentations that O’Sullivan and Trent were Ipid investigators to gain access to certain places.

Phahlane is said to be under investigation for the possible contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act relating to more than R1 million in “gratuities” he allegedly received from a Pretoria car dealer.

Ipid head Robert McBride earlier said O’Sullivan was the complainant in the matter.

The state told the court there were 67 witness statements in the docket against Phahlane and asked that the two members be ordered not to have contact with seven of those witnesses.

Makhubela hit back, saying it appeared as if this case against his clients was an attempt to keep them away from the investigation against Phahlane. He added that they had obtained statements from the witnesses that implicated Phahlane.

Magistrate Aubrey Mphahlele ordered Mahlangu and Binang not to have contact with the seven witnesses. He also said he found that the two were not a flight risk and their work addresses were acceptable in terms of bail.

The case has been postponed to early June.

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