I don’t trust the NPA – Breytenbach

2013-02-10 10:00

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Senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach says she has lost her trust in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Breytenbach took the stand in her disciplinary hearing this week.

She accused an NPA investigator of being a “liar” and said she “didn’t trust the NPA” with her laptop.

Testifying about her refusal to hand over her NPA laptop to investigators without its hard drive being copied, Breytenbach said she knew the NPA had a history of “tampering” with information on the computers of prosecutors who bumped heads with the NPA leadership.

Breytenbach’s well-known no-nonsense approach was on display on Friday, when she was being cross-examined by Advocate William Mokhari.

Mokhari’s questions related mainly to what has become known as the “laptop debacle” – a reference to Breytenbach’s refusal to hand over her laptop to NPA investigator Hercules Wasserman without being supplied with reasons for her suspension.

Mokhari on Friday questioned Breytenbach about her refusal to hand over the laptop despite the fact that Wasserman had given her an assurance that her private information would be respected, to which Breytenbach responded with laughter.

“Why are you laughing?” asked Mokhari.

“I’m laughing because he (Wasserman) showed absolutely no consideration for my privacy and no consideration for my rights, and we both know it,” responded Breytenbach.

Asked by Mokhari if she had any reason to doubt Wasserman, she said: “Well, I doubted him then?.?.?.?Now I know that he’s a liar.”

Breytenbach was referring to a line of cross-examination by her advocate, Wim Trengove, who accused Wasserman of “trawling” through Breytenbach’s inbox to find additional charges against her.

Some of the charges against Breytenbach relate to documents obtained from her inbox, including an application for personal car finance, and emails between her and a friend who is a journalist.

Breytenbach testified that she wanted a copy of the laptop because she knew “that the NPA had already tampered with evidence on Anton Ackermann’s laptop”.

Last year Ackermann, head of the NPA’s priority crimes unit, was applauded for breaking ranks with the NPA and filing an affidavit against the organisation in a case involving torture accusations by Zimbabwean opposition party members.

His affidavit accused controversial former director of public prosecutions, Menzi Simelane, of being behind a campaign to prevent Ackermann from telling the court how his investigation of the Zimbabwean officials was derailed.

Breytenbach did not expand on her explanation and was accused by Mokhari of manufacturing evidence because these allegations had not been put to Wasserman.

Asked by Mokhari who in the NPA she didn’t trust, Breytenbach responded: “Would you like me to make a list?”

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