Breytenbach guilty, NPA laywer says

2013-05-06 21:37
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

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Pretoria - Suspended NPA senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach should be found guilty of misconduct, her disciplinary hearing heard in Pretoria on Monday.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s legal representative, advocate William Mokhari SC, submitted that Breytenbach had committed misconduct with regards to the 13 charges brought against her.

"Clearly, she has committed misconduct and she should be found guilty. We are also raising the issue of trust [in the heads of arguments]," he said.

"The employee [Breytenbach] said she doesn’t trust the employer. She said it should not be a factor, because she is simply fighting with individuals. The institution doesn’t talk… when you don’t trust your superiors, how are you going to work with them?"

Mokhari outlined the list of 13 charges still standing against Breytenbach, excluding two counts which were part of the 15 initial charges.

A core charge against the anti-graft prosecutor includes failing to act impartially when investigating the Kumba Iron Ore/Sishen and ICT mining rights issue, because of her "improper relations" with Kumba's senior counsel, Mike Hellens.

Other charges include "surreptitiously leaking" NPA inside information to Beeld journalist Sonja Carstens, and giving her official NPA laptop to her lawyer.

The NPA has also charged Breytenbach for "maligning" the organisation in the media.

Submitting closing arguments, Breytenbach's counsel, Wim Trengove SC, said the NPA's director of prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi had lied while giving evidence at the disciplinary hearing.

"Mr Mrwebi, being the only witness relied upon by the prosecution, was a poor witness [and] thoroughly dishonest," Trengove submitted in closing arguments at the NPA headquarters in Pretoria.

"He obviously lied again and again, and we give examples in our heads of argument."

Mrwebi, Breytenbach's boss, is the special director of public prosecutions and national head of the specialised commercial crimes unit. He gave evidence in January.

The NPA and Breytenbach's defence team have submitted heads of argument to the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing, Selby Mbenenge SC.

Trengove said instead of submitting factual evidence, Mrwebi had given his opinion.

"The evidence presented to you by the NPA has been appalling. They call Mr Mrwebi, who doesn't know the difference between truth and untruth," he said.

"Mr Mrwebi was everything but impartial. He came here with an axe to grind.

He lied again and again. To accept his opinion is completely unfounded."

Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA on 30 April 2012. She has claimed acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her to stop her from prosecuting former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.

Mbenenge said he would hand down his findings on 27 May.

In March a parallel arbitration hearing at the Public Service Bargaining Council, in Centurion, found Breytenbach's suspension was both procedurally and substantively fair.

Her lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar said it was still being considered whether to take the arbitration hearing decision on review or appeal.

Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach

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