Complainants should not help prosecutors – Breytenbach’s boss

2013-01-18 14:47

It is against the NPA code of conduct for complainants to help prosecutors with their investigation, the disciplinary hearing of suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach has heard.

“The guidance of the complainant – it’s when you lose your objectivity, you can’t do it,” her boss Lawrence Mrwebi said.

Mrwebi, who is special director of public prosecutions and national head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act’s Section 38 dealt with outside counsel.

People suitably qualified could be engaged to perform the duties of a prosecutor, but in his 30 years’ experience he had not heard of a case where the complainant helped the prosecutor.

There was nothing wrong with helping the complainant or their counsel lodge the complaint.

“That would be the end of the matter for that complainant,” he said.

It was against the code of conduct for a complainant to say how the investigation should be taken forward.

“That role must be for the investigator,” he continued.

Breytenbach was suspended by the NPA in April last year for allegedly having an unprofessional relationship with Advocate Mike Hellens SC.

Hellens represented Kumba Iron Ore’s interests in the company’s dispute with politically connected mining firm Imperial Crown Trading (ICT).

Breytenbach was the prosecutor on the case in which Kumba accused ICT of copying their application for an iron ore mining right at Sishen in the Northern Cape.

Breytenbach believes she was suspended by acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba in an attempt to stop her prosecuting former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

The hearing continues.

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