While Johnston was dating Murray, from “1999 until late in 2013”, he was a director of numerous companies.
The lover of the man who claims he was “tricked” into funding mining magnate Brett Kebble’s murder has dragged forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan to court on fraud charges.
O’Sullivan appeared for the matter, as well as another case, on Friday in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court.
The woman in question is Alice Johnston, who claims she was once the mistress of prominent Joburg businessman James Murray, who was embroiled in the saga around the hit on Kebble in November 2006. Murray told The Star in 2009 that he’d had no idea that a R1 million debt repayment he was making to his then business partner, Kebble’s head of security and the mastermind behind Kebble’s killing, Clinton Nassif, would be used to pay the hitmen who eventually shot Kebble to death in his car.
The Citizen has had sight of statements forming part of the increasingly complicated Hawks case against O’Sullivan in which Johnston states that her relationship with Murray broke down in 2013.
Not long after, Murray was shot – the bullets apparently hit him in the arm, ruptured his colon and passed between his spine and spleen. Johnston was then arrested by the Bedfordview police on charges of intimidation and conspiracy to commit murder.
She claims she had no idea why.
“At the police station, I was questioned, held in a cell for some six hours, and then released without any charge or explanation for me release [sic],” Johnston wrote in her statement.
Wanting to prove her innocence in the matter, she emailed a few “high-profile private investigators”, among which was O’Sullivan, to obtain expert help.
“O’Sullivan responded in less than an hour from when I had emailed him,” said Johnston.
After a polygraph arranged by O’Sullivan a few days later, O’Sullivan told her that she had passed the test and that he believed her. However, Johnston was then called in by the investigator, whose subsequent actions, if true, would indicate he actually had his doubts about her protestations of innocence.
“He then proceeded to interrogate me. He belittled, insulted, intimidated and threatened me,” stated Johnston. She said that he accused her of being involved in the plot to murder Murray and that she had been working with the alleged shooter.
After the alleged interrogation, an email between O’Sullivan and Murray came into Johnston’s possession.
“When I read this email I became aware, for the very first time, that O’Sullivan had turned against me and was now assisting Murray, for a reward, to lure me into making incriminating confessions,” Johnston stated, and asked the police to investigate charges of “crimen injuria, fraud, intimidation, extortion, and any other charges that the Director of Public Prosecutions wishes to bring against O’Sullivan and any other person or persons”.
O’Sullivan is expected to deny these charges.
‘O’Sullivan kidnapped me’
In the other case that O’Sullivan appeared for on Friday, the words “Help me!!!” form the beginning of a string of panicked text messages between Cora van der Merwe and her lawyer as she was driven by O’Sullivan and his former employee Melissa Naidu to the forensic consultant’s offices in October 2014.
O’Sullivan and Naidu appeared on kidnapping, extortion and fraud charges in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court.
The duo was investigating a leak of information from the chambers of Ronald Bobroff & Partners.
The leak eventually uncovered massive alleged fraud of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) estimated at more than R170 million by the RAF committed by Bobroff and son Darren, both understood to now be in Australia.
The law firm was placed under curatorship and the Bobroffs face a disbarment hearing in December.
In her statement, Van der Merwe said O’Sullivan had told her if she did not accompany him and Naidu, she would spend the night in jail and there was “a possibility that I would not see my children”.
Surmising he was a policeman and “terrified”, Van der Merwe said she went with O’Sullivan. He has denied this and said Van der Merwe went with him willingly.
Both cases were remanded to September, but not before tensions between O’Sullivan’s lawyer Darryl Furman and prosecuting advocate Jabulani Mlotshwa boiled over into a heated argument in court before Magistrate Gail Pretorius took her seat.
“I’ve asked for the docket four times!” a frustrated Furman asked loudly of Mlotshwa.
“Are you shouting at me? Are you shouting at me? I’m not your boy!” Mlotshwa shouted back at Furman.
“How do you expect me to run a trial without the docket?” Furman yelled back.
The escalating argument prompted officials to try to clear the court.
O’Sullivan jumped into the argument as well, saying he had opened a docket of fraud against Mlotshwa.
“I’m not going to put up with this crap any more,” said O’Sullivan, who had earlier yelled at the detective investigating the case against him that he was tired of dealing with corrupt cops.