Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan says he succeeded in serving the former chairperson of SAA, Dudu Myeni, with a combined summons on Tuesday morning.
According to O’Sullivan, a sheriff of the court served Myeni with the summons before the start of the day’s proceedings in an unrelated delinquency case being brought against her by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the SAA Pilots Association in Pretoria.
But Myeni’s lawyer, Daniel Mnatsha, told our reporter in court during a break that the document Myeni was presented with was not a summons, and Myeni had not signed it.
“If that is what the sheriff told you, it is absolutely a lie. It was being given to my client and she refused to accept it. Whatever that document is, she refused to accept it. I can tell you it is not a summons. The document I saw was not summons,” said Mnatsha.
But according to O’Sullivan, there is no legal requirement for Myeni to have signed anything presented to her by the sheriff since there is photographic “proof” that she was indeed served the summons.
Myeni is the 9th defendant in a case being brought by O’Sullivan which also names various ministers, members of the SA Police Service and the Hawks as defendants in their official capacities.
He told Fin24 on Tuesday that he has been trying to serve the summons on the former SAA chairperson since December 2018, but that she has been “ducking and diving” since then.
According to O’Sullivan, the sheriff had already gone to Myeni’s house in Richards Bay a number of times to try and serve the combined summons on her. Apparently, he could see people in the house, but no one came to the door.
“This is evading justice and delayed my summons getting off the ground,” said O’Sullivan.
As far as his case relates to Myeni, O’Sullivan claims that, during the course of him investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in South Africa in the public interest, part of his investigations related to allegations against Myeni.
“Three days of torture”
He claims he was at some point wrongfully arrested and “during three days of torture” was told that he had “upset Myeni” by opening criminal dockets against her for fraud and corruption at SAA.
Myeni is named in the fifth claim O’Sullivan is making as part of his combined case. He claims that between March 2015 to April 7, 2016, Myeni “wrongfully and maliciously” and in reaction to an investigation conducted by him, “set the law in motion in collaboration with a member of the Hawks by laying a false charge of extortion, intimidation, fraud, forgery and uttering against him with the police at the Kempton Park Police Station”.
According to O’Sullivan, when laying the charge against him, Myeni had no reasonable or probable cause for doing so. As a result, he claims he was maliciously and unlawfully charged and prosecuted. Charges were ultimately withdrawn in January 2018 after he had to appear in court eight times.
O’Sullivan further claims that, as a result of this, he suffered R1.2 million in damages, including legal costs for defending the charges estimated at R700 000 and impairment of his dignity, deprivation of his freedom and discomfort suffered estimated at R500 000.
He claims these damages from the National Director of Public Prosecutions in their official capacity; the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services in his official capacity and the Minister of Police in his official capacity as well legal costs or “alternative relief”.