Breytenbach: No evidence destroyed

2013-03-04 17:59
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Sapa)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutions director Glynnis Breytenbach refuted claims on Monday that she deleted vital information from her laptop and spoke to the media while her bosses were rounding on her.

"As I understand the charge, it was destruction of evidence. No evidence was destroyed," said Breytenbach, who has been accused of withholding her work laptop, then removing items from it.

She told the disciplinary hearing she initially withheld the laptop because she had been advised by her lawyer to protect her privacy.

She removed only her Gmail account, which she considered private, pictures of her horses and dogs, and some other private items.

Under cross examination by NPA prosecutor William Mokhari SC, she said everything which could have been needed would have been saved on the NPA server anyway and could have been retrieved from there.

She denied a submission by Mokhari that she had found this out only afterwards.

Breytenbach was suspended by the NPA last year after it said Imperial Crown Trading had complained about her handling of a criminal case against them.

She contends she was suspended for not wanting the fraud charges against former police crime intelligence head Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli withdrawn.

She is also accused of speaking to the media about it, and that she believed the case should have gone ahead as there was a prima facie case against Mdluli and a colleague Hein Barnard.

"I had no media interviews," said Breytenbach.

She has articulated her view on the Mdluli charges in her hearing.

A Sapa report was produced by Mokhari as evidence of her having spoken to the media, but her counsel Wim Trengove SC said it was an incorrect lift of a Mail&Guardian report.

"So it's triple hearsay on a broken telephone," said Trengove.

Mokhari also turned to a change of prosecutors in the Mdluli investigation.

Breytenbach explained that the initial prosecutor was changed at his own request because of pressure and family commitments.

She refuted Mokhari's suggestion that she had tarnished the reputation of the NPA by suggesting that acting National Director of Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba had suspended her because of her stance on prosecuting Mdluli.

She said the timeline of events relating to her case supported her contention.

"It's a statement I believe I am entitled to make," she said.

Earlier, the hearing's chairperson Selby Mbenenge heard that Breytenbach's mother died on Friday, but that she wanted to carry on with the hearing to get it over with.

Examination also touched on what prosecutors could and could not do during an investigation.

Attorney Mike Hellens, who consulted for resources company Kumba, a complainant in a mining rights case Breytenbach was working on, helped draft a search and seizure warrant for a search of the other complainant, ICT's, offices in Kimberly.

Breytenbach said that while Hellens did help draft the warrant, he could have nothing to do with its execution.

This was the police's responsibility.

Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  richard mdluli

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