NPA 'trumped up' Breytenbach charges

2012-07-27 16:00
Glynnis Breytenbach (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority has fabricated charges against suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, her lawyer said on Friday.

"They are trumped up charges designed to get rid of Glynnis Breytenbach," Wim Trengove said at her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

He was referring in particular to two charges relating to Breytenbach doing work outside the NPA; she allegedly rented out a flat and ran a horse stabling business.

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

Trengove pointed out that renting out a flat did not amount to performing remunerative work.

Breytenbach had stabled a horse for a friend's child which had cost her R2 500 a month, although the friend could only contribute R1 000 towards this, he said.

Wasserman said he was not aware of this.

Trengove said this was because Wasserman had not investigated.

"I do not know of any investigation of these facts at all, other than the reading of one line in a credit application," Trengove said.

While analysing Breytenbach's e-mails on the NPA server, Wasserman's unit had found Breytenbach's application for car finance in 2009, in which she listed under "other income" that she earned R4 000 a month for renting out a flat and stabling a horse.

Abuse of privacy

Trengove called the reading of this e-mail an abuse of Breytenbach's Constitutional right to privacy of her communication.

Trengove called the charges "trivial nonsense".

Wasserman replied that he was not involved in the drawing up of the charge sheet.

He admitted Breytenbach had not been not asked to explain this income.

Trengove said the charges were "further symptomatic of the zeal with which the NPA gunned for Glynnis Breytenbach".

"The NPA attempted to prosecute Glynnis Breytenbach on charges like these, behind closed doors, while telling the public that she was being prosecuted for her abuse of the investigation in the ICT case," Trengove said.

He added: "And that was done to prevent her from prosecuting Richard Mdluli."

New witness

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.

Breytenbach was alleged to have failed to have acted impartially in investigating the Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore and ICT mining rights dispute.

Breytenbach contends she was suspended to protect former intelligence boss Mdluli.

A new witness, William Gloster, internal investigator for the NPA's integrity management unit, took the stand later on Friday.

Breytenbach has denied all 16 charges against her.

The hearing continues.

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