NEWS

O'Sullivan's Assistant's Impersonation Case Has Been Postponed

Attorney Sarah-Jane Trent Has been accused of pretending to be an Ipid official in its investigation into acting Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

14/02/2017 11:52 SAST | Updated 14/02/2017 12:16 SAST

The court case against investigator Paul O'Sullivan's assistant was postponed on Tuesday morning.

Dressed in a pink dress and a striped jacket, attorney Sarah-Jane Trent appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court where the case was postponed to May 19 for further investigation. O'Sullivan sat in the court gallery during her appearance.

Trent was arrested on Friday afternoon. She was released from custody on R5,000 following an urgent application in the High Court in Pretoria on Sunday night.

In her affidavit, Trent claimed she was taken by police and driven around in the back of a police van for hours before being taken to Kameeldrift police station. She also said that the van was guarded by heavily armed men.

"The vehicle was parked at a petrol station in Marlboro, Johannesburg, guarded by at least seven heavily armed [police officers] carrying R5 semi-automatic rifles for more than an hour and then drove off to Pretoria."

Accusations 'absurd'

Trent said her cellphone was confiscated and she was not allowed to consult her legal representative.

Trent was charged for allegedly pretending to be an Ipid official in its investigation into acting Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

In her court application, Trent denied the charges, saying that this was an attempt by senior police officials to retaliate against her for her involvement in the "formulation of a complaint against Phahlane".

"This is an absurd claim since it speaks that as an employee of the complainant and an attorney, she would be giving assistance to the investigating officer of Ipid upon request," Trent's affidavit states.

On Monday O'Sullivan himself was also arrested and released following a late night High Court bid.

He was arrested outside AfriForum's offices in Pretoria earlier, and also taken to the Kameeldrift police station, where he was charged with offences including fraud, intimidation and extortion.

His lawyers went to the High Court to seek an urgent order for police to release him and to comply with an earlier order that should they want to detain him, he must be given 48 hours to present himself to a police station.

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