Breytenbach believed the NPA would tamper with her computer

2017-10-10 19:37
Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - Former prosecutor and now DA MP, Glynnis Breytenbach duplicated the hard drive of her work computer because she believed that the National Prosecuting Authority was not above tampering with, and manipulating, its contents after she had handed it in.

Breytenbach said this under cross-examination in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

She is charged with having unauthorised access to, and modifying, official laptop computer contents.

This relates to documents deleted in a matter of a mining rights case involving Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) and Kumba Iron Ore subsidiary Sishen Iron Ore.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, State prosecutor Advocate Raymond Mathenjwa questioned Breytenbach about a duplicated hard drive, as well as the documents she had shredded.

Mathenjwa drew the inference that Breytenbach had never received permission or authorisation to have the hard drive duplicated. He also questioned her motives.

ALSO READ: Breytenbach claims Mdluli probe was reason behind her NPA suspension

Breytenbach responded that the NPA was not above tampering with, and manipulating, the contents of her computer once she had handed it over.

"It has been done before," Breytenbach told the court.

In terms of authorisation, Breytenbach testified that she believed she was allowed to do it, as they had discussed the matter ad nauseam.

"There were many high ranking officials there on the day, there were no objections," said Breytenbach.

She added that they even assisted in trying to get her an authorisation code.

"If they didn’t want us to do what we were doing, they could have said 'no', and taken the computer. We would have then gone to court," she said.

Mdluli case

Previously, during her evidence-in-chief, Breytenbach said the case against former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli was at the heart of the reason for her suspension and the subsequent criminal charges levelled against her.

Breytenbach was involved in the Mdluli case, as the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU) was investigating him for fraud, theft and corruption.

She testified that she had become more involved when the investigating officers told her that there was interference by police and the NPA.

She testified that Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi was appointed as the head of the SCCU and interfered with the Mdluli case, by demanding that the charges against him be withdrawn, despite a prima facie case against Mdluli.

Breytenbach, who stands accused with her former lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar, said that she had deleted personal information from her work computer and that there were affidavits and two draft letters that were mistakenly deleted.

Earlier this year, the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court acquitted Breytenbach and Wagenaar on two counts of obstructing or defeating the ends of justice - which relates to their refusal to hand over an official laptop computer to NPA officials who were investigating acts of misconduct against Breytenbach.   

The trial continues.

Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  lawrence mrwebi

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