Breytenbach hearing told of legal help

2013-01-24 20:50
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - It was not unusual for complex commercial investigations to be prepared by private investigators and lawyers, then handed to police as a "ready-made" case, a lawyer said on Thursday.

"There is an entire industry out there that does it," civil and criminal lawyer Mike Hellens said at the disciplinary hearing of National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach in Pretoria.

The NPA suspended Breytenbach last year, saying this followed a complaint by Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) over her handling of the criminal case against them, and that she was "too close" to Hellens.

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suspended for not wanting the fraud charges against former crime intelligence head Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli withdrawn.

Hellens was on a brief for Kumba, also accused of a crime in the case in which both were vying for a stake in a Northern Cape mine.

Breytenbach had to defend herself for getting Hellens to help with drafting search and seizure warrants.

Hellens said he had become friends with Breytenbach, whom he had first met more than 20 years ago, and described her as a "bristly" but independent person.

They had many "ding-dong" fights in court when they were on opposing sides, he said.

Hellens said as lawyer he was often approached by people who wanted to report a complex crime in terms of Section 34 of the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act.

In terms of this act, it is a crime to not report a crime when a person becomes aware of it, so his firm would be approached by people who wanted help with this "duty to report" obligation.

This could go as far as drawing up an A1 statement, which forms part of a criminal docket used by police.

"With complicated commercial matters, you can't always just go to a police station and tell the duty sergeant," he explained.

So his and other firms help clients draw up the first statements in a case. If it is handed to a "good policeman", he will interact with the complainant and "do a fine job".

"Very often... the police are overburdened, good people, a lot of people are resigning, so they rely on legal assistance to help them," he said.

Stern letter

Companies like KPMG and PWC had forensic divisions which devoted a significant amount of time to compiling reports and helping police.

Many of the investigators at the private companies were former policemen, he continued.

He cited cases that had been built in this way by SABMiller, the SABC and Eskom and said SARS also assisted the police in their investigations.

He said he had indeed helped Breytenbach out in terms of drawing up drafts of search warrants as well as the police - a Colonel Sandra van Wyk - in drawing up a "stern" letter to ICT's lawyers when they felt they were being strung along.

He said the case was very complicated and "even Glynnis" probably needed it explained at first.

The ICT/Kumba case dated back to the days of Iscor, which was then South Africa's iron and steel producer, he said.

He defended criticism that he and Breytenbach's body language at a Kimberley court case relating to the dispute showed that they were very close, and that this worried ICT.

He said they did talk but asked why he should sit at the other side of the room when they knew each other.

He disputed that Breytenbach huddled with Kumba's lawyers at the court appearance.

She would have greeted and "made disparaging remarks by teasing, but that's it", said Hellens.

Earlier, the lawyer who briefed him was pressured to give the name of a source who had said a director at ICT wanted to become a State witness.

Towards the end of the hearing on Thursday, it was revealed as a source in the State attorney's office.

- SAPA

Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Camps Bay - 12:37 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Southbound
    DELAYS between Camps Bay and Bakoven
  • Wednesday Delft - 12:18 PM
    Road name: N2 Outbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at the R300 Highway Interchange - expect DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.