To Catch a Cop by Marianne Thamm

EXTRACT: To Catch a Cop: The Paul O’Sullivan Story

South Africa's criminal underbelly exposed

As O’Sullivan prepared to take Ferrer’s statement, a controversial ‘private detective’, debt collector and former apartheid operative, Kevin Trytsman, unexpectedly stepped into the spotlight.

Trytsman had a chequered past and had received amnesty at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for his role in the notorious and ruthless apartheid hit squads deployed by the state security apparatus. He had apparently been ‘rehabilitated’ and was working for the country’s National Intelligence Agency.

Trytsman, Ferrer reported back to O’Sullivan, had threatened him and instructed him not to provide the NPA with any statements that had not been vetted by him first. Trytsman also mentioned to Ferrer that he was a close friend of the NIA boss, Gibson Njenje, so close in fact that Njenje was his son’s godfather. Trytsman warned Ferrer that Paul O’Sullivan and the Scorpions prosecutors Gerrie Nel and Andrew Leask ‘were not to be trusted’.

Trytsman’s interference was a setback for O’Sullivan and delayed Ferrer’s making a sworn statement, an explosive document which he eventually provided only in October 2009. O’Sullivan then turned his attention to Michael Addinall and met him several times. In the process Addinall supplied him with copious documents. A week after meeting with O’Sullivan, Addinall was arrested and taken to Richard Mdluli’s office. Mdluli was then head of Crime Intelligence in Gauteng and reported directly to Mulangi Mphego. Addinall informed O’Sullivan that he had been told by Mdluli not to have anything to do with O’Sullivan, as he was a spy and would soon be arrested. Furthermore, according to Addinall, if he did not comply, his parole would be cancelled and he would be sent back to prison.

While he waited and worked on Ferrer, O’Sullivan began to conduct his own investigation into Trytsman. Trytsman, he discovered, was ‘nothing more than a petty crook and a conman’ who had associations with a range of known criminals and individuals involved in extortion. One of the names he was linked to was the Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. Krejcir had made a dramatic escape from his homeland during a police search of his villa near Prague in 2005. The billionaire ‘businessman’ was wanted on a number of serious charges in his own country and was linked to several murders and other crimes. Czech police had also fingered him as a major and ruthless player in the criminal underworld in that country.

A cache of illegal firearms and several billion crowns in fake Czech currency had been found during the search of Krejcir’s villa, but he had managed a miraculous escape through a back door. Underworld friends and contacts then helped him procure a false passport, and he headed for Poland and the Ukraine. From there he made his way to Turkey and Dubai, finally arriving in the Seychelles on a false passport on 7 September 2005.

The fugitive Krejcir fled to South Africa in 2007 under a false name, Julius Egbert Savey, on a forged Seychellois passport and was immediately detained at the airport on an Interpol international ‘red notice’. Krejcir spent his first three months in South Africa languishing in a cell at the Kempton Park police station. As criminal luck would have it, he shared a portion of this time with the Cypriot George Louka (Smith), who was closely linked to the strip-club boss, money-launderer and tax evader, Lolly Jackson. Louka, a small-time criminal hustler, had been arrested after police found around R2 million worth of parts stripped from a hijacked truck at the supermarket he ran with his de facto wife on the East Rand.

Louka apparently impressed Krejcir when he managed, from the cells, to source a Surf and Turf meal and caviar from the nearby Emperors Palace Casino. Krejcir could not have wished for a more fortuitous encounter, as this meeting no doubt lubricated his later entry into the top echelons of South Africa’s criminal underworld.

Louka would flee South Africa in 2010 after allegedly pumping six bullets into Lolly Jackson at close range and killing him instantly during an altercation in Louka’s house in Edleen, east of Johannesburg. O’Sullivan believes Louka was not the triggerman.

While Krejcir was a peripheral figure on Paul’s radar at the time, he would soon find himself – as Jackie Selebi made his exit – firmly centre stage and in the investigator’s relentless spotlight.

Meanwhile, Kevin Trytsman hovered on the horizon, and Paul was not going to let this valuable source escape without milking him first for information on Lolly Jackson and Radovan Krejcir.

But  back  in  2007  there  was  still  only  one  lead  player  on O’Sullivan’s mind, Jackie Selebi.

Marianne Thamm

To Catch a Cop is published by Jacana and is available from Kalahari.com. The book will be launching at The Book Lounge in Cape Town is taking place on Wednesday 2 April. Marianne Thamm, the author, will be in discussion with Mervyn Sloman. 17h30 for 18h00. RSVP booklounge@gmail.com.

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