O'Sullivan told to stop intimidating witnesses
Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan, in a civil case in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg), has been ordered to halt publishing of defamatory statements and attempting to intimidate witnesses in civil and criminal cases against Simon Nash, the chairperson of industrial company Cadac and former trustee of the Cadac pension fund.
At issue, notes Fin24, was a ‘forensic report’ compiled by O'Sullivan, on instruction of Nash, which was found to be based on defamatory statements already made by Nash and rejected by other courts.
In a drawn-out matter dating back some two decades, Nash is facing charges of fraud, theft and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act arising from the alleged fraudulent stripping of retirement fund surpluses from the Sable and Cullinan/Powerpack retirement funds.
Nash is also facing various civil claims arising out of removal of the surpluses that were due to pensioners.
The Cadac Pension Fund was placed under curatorship when the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) alleged he was part-paying for his criminal defence out of the Cadac pension fund money.
The case against Nash is that he allegedly paid a former Nedbank employee, Peter Ghavalas, 30% of the proceeds for a system that would find an illegal way to withdraw surpluses due to members and pensioners from retirement funds.
Ghavalas received a 15-year suspended sentence, subject to his co-operation against others involved.
Nash has denied the charges.
Nash has been described by at least one court as being involved in ‘lawfare’ – abusing the court system to delay the civil and criminal processes against him.
In the latest development, O'Sullivan is said to have attempted, on behalf of Nash, to force Old Mutual, now the administrator of the Ghavalas funds, to withdraw from a civil case and intimidate attorney June Marks, who was once an adviser of the Nash-controlled retirement funds, with threats of jail time and being struck from the attorneys’ register.
The current case saw applicant Antony Mostert – who is curator/liquidator of the Ghavalas schemes, including the Power Pack Pension Fund, previously controlled by Cadac and currently in liquidation – asking the court to block Nash and O'Sullivan from publishing or disseminating any defamatory allegations, or O'Sullivan's ‘forensic report’.
Mostert has, to date, recovered hundreds of millions of rands from participants in the Ghavalas schemes.
The judgment, released two weeks ago by Acting Judge Allyson Crutchfield, found in favour of Mostert, awarding him penalising costs for the case against O'Sullivan, Nash, and O'Sullivan's employee Sarah-Jane Trent.
The Fin24 report says the judge gave Mostert 30 days to institute a claim for damages. Mostert sued for R5m and has stated that any award by the court he would donate to charity.
Crutchfield referred to a number of previous cases against Nash, including one handed down by Judge Matojane in a previous defamatory case, in which he ordered a halt to the false and defamatory statements and the removal of another website.
Judgment is expected soon on an application to have Nash declared being in contempt of court for contravening this order.
If convicted, he could go to jail.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.