Breytenbach was warned not to delete data - former NPA head

2016-07-18 16:42
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach outside court. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach outside court. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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LISTEN: Breytenbach claims political motive behind charges

2016-03-16 12:48

Glynnis Breytenbach maintains the NPA is pursuing a politically motivated campaign against her.WATCH

Pretoria – Former NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach never asked for permission to delete information from her work laptop, the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.

Breytenbach was advised she could be charged for deleting data, former National Prosecuting Authority CEO Karen van Rensburg said.

She was testifying in the trial of Breytenbach and her former lawyer, Gerhard Wagenaar, on four charges of contravening the NPA Act and two of defeating the ends of justice. Breytenbach faces two additional charges of fraud and perjury.

When an NPA employee was suspended, they had to vacate their office immediately and leave all laptops and other NPA equipment behind, Van Rensburg said.

"All the information that has to be permanently deleted must be authorised," she replied to questioning by prosecutor Raymond Mthenjwa.

Van Rensburg said Breytenbach queried her suspension in a letter dated May 22, 2012. She wrote in the letter that she was removing personal information from the laptop and once she was done would call the necessary people to collect it.

The NPA claimed that, in 2012, Breytenbach shred papers and wiped clean her laptop while she was still the head of the organisation's specialised commercial crimes unit in Pretoria, in violation of the NPA Act.

'Only personal information deleted'

Wagenaar allegedly refused to hand over her laptop, which was believed to contain evidence relevant to a misconduct case the NPA was investigating against her. She maintained she only deleted personal information.

Breytenbach's lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Van Rensburg if it was possible for information that was deleted from a computer to be wiped from the server. Van Rensburg said only a few people had access to the server to do that.

Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA on April 30, 2012. She claimed this was done to stop her from prosecuting former police crime intelligence head Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli on charges of fraud and corruption.

She challenged her suspension in the Labour Court and lost.

On May 27, 2013, she was cleared of all 15 disciplinary charges the NPA had brought against her. The charges included failing to act impartially while investigating a mining rights issue involving Kumba Iron Ore, Sishen, and Imperial Crown Trading.

After a 26-year career, Breytenbach resigned from the NPA in January 2014 to join the DA. She subsequently became an MP for the party.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  pretoria

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