Breytenbach did the right thing - lawyer

2012-07-26 14:42
Glynnis Breytenbach (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Breytenbach disciplinary hearing

2012-07-26 09:03

Suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach leaked information to the media, a witness told her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria on Wednesday. Watch . WATCH

Pretoria - Suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach did the right thing when she sought help to draw up complex legal documents, her lawyer said on Thursday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Breytenbach is facing charges of failing to act impartially when investigating the Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore and Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) mining rights dispute.

The NPA alleges Breytenbach favoured Sishen over ICT in her probe, and that she had an improper relationship with Kumba's lawyer Mike Hellens.

"It would [have been] irresponsible for Colonel Van Wyk and advocate Breytenbach not to ask for advocate Hellens' assistance, given his background in the Kumba review," Wim Trengove said at Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

The Kumba review numbered over 2 500 pages of "extraordinarily complex legal and factual issues", Trengove said.

From this, affidavits needed to be drawn up as the parties to the dispute had laid criminal charges.
Lieutenant Colonel Sandra van Wyk was the police officer investigating the matter.

Standard practice

Trengove was cross-examining Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the NPA's integrity management unit, at the authority's offices in Silverton.

Wasserman's unit was asked to investigate Breytenbach after a complaint by Mendelow Jacobs Attorneys, on behalf of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT), in October last year.

Trengove asked Wasserman if he knew it was "stock, standard practice" (to seek help from a legal expert) in big commercial investigations.

Wasserman admitted he had never worked on major commercial probes.

Breytenbach has pleaded not guilty to the 16 charges brought against her.
The hearing continues.
- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach
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