NPA: Breytenbach is a spy

2013-09-15 14:00

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Pro-Mdluli faction says it possesses a letter linking Breytenbach to Israel’s Mossad

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) claims senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach is a spy for ­Israeli intelligence agency Mossad – and it is pursuing criminal charges against her.

This is the latest shock development in the bitter battle raging for control of South Africa’s criminal justice system.

After being cleared of 15 NPA disciplinary charges earlier this year, City Press can reveal that Breytenbach is being criminally pursued based on the contents of what her attorney insists is a forged letter.

The letter is addressed to Breytenbach and purports to be from local billionaire businessman Nathan Kirsh, who is known as Nati.

City Press understands the allegations contained in the letter have been repeated to journalists by a ­faction within the intelligence ­community loyal to suspended ­police spy boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, who famously ­offered his “assistance” to President Jacob Zuma before the ANC’s Mangaung conference last year.

It has been widely speculated that Breytenbach was suspended and disciplined to keep her from pursuing the prosecution of Mdluli for fraud.

The letter, a copy of which City Press has seen, states: “I know you (Breytenbach) are concerned for my safety, but can assure you that (former Mossad head) Jacob (Perry) has it in hand ... “I know you two had long discussions in the Bahamas in this regard, and I hope that he was able to allay some of your concerns.”

Breytenbach’s attorney, Gerhard Wagenaar, said neither he nor Breytenbach had ever seen this ­letter.

Wagenaar declined to ­comment further, but sent City Press a transcript of a meeting that took place late last month between Breytenbach and the head of the NPA’s integrity management unit, Prince Mokotedi.

Several of the allegations made against Breytenbach, including that she is a ­Mossad spy, correspond with the contents of the ­letter.

In the interview, Mokotedi asks Breytenbach if she is “aware that some of the people” she “met abroad are former members of ­foreign intelligence agencies”.

He then said: “You are aware, or you must be aware, that if you meet the member of the foreign intelligence agency, (it) must be reported to our state security agency.”

Other excerpts from the letter, which correspond with questions in the interview, include:

» A proposed meeting with the brother of alleged Ponzi scheme scammer Barry Tannenbaum at his home in France, “away from all the fuss and bother, and outside the (UK) Serious Fraud Office area of jurisdiction”;

» An offer for Breytenbach to use the “PJ” – understood to be a ­reference to a private jet; and

» An amount of $1 million (R9.9 million), which had been placed in the “Napthaniel Trust”.

The letter states: “I know you are not comfortable with the whole thing, but let’s agree not to discuss it any further. I can afford to lose the money and will not let you do so.”

In the transcript, Mokotedi also asks questions about an ­allegedly corrupt relationship with Advocate André Bezuidenhout.

This was one of the fresh allegations made against Breytenbach by the NPA less than two weeks after she was cleared of the 15 disciplinary charges against her in May.

These charges were the reason given by then acting prosecutions head Nomgcobo Jiba for not allowing Breytenbach to return to her job as the Pretoria head of the specialised commercial crimes unit.

Breytenbach granted a section 204 indemnity from prosecution to Stefanutti director Schalk Ackerman, who spilled the beans on the multimillion-rand fraud, collusion and racketeering in the infamous construction cartel case.

The NPA is alleging Breytenbach had an “improper business relationship” with Bezuidenhout, who represented Stefanutti executives, including Ackerman, in negotiations with Breytenbach.

The NPA’s head of communications, Bulelwa Makeke, responded to questions about the criminal charges against Breytenbach by saying the matter was still under investigation.

News of the spy-related criminal charges was let slip this week in a last-minute affidavit filed by Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, the man at the centre of a decision to drop fraud and corruption charges related to the plunder of the police’s crime-intelligence slush fund.

That case is part of a precedent-setting attempt by Freedom Under Law to challenge the NPA and the police’s decision to withdraw criminal and disciplinary charges against Mdluli.

The case publicly exposed the turmoil in the NPA. The prosecuting authority went through three teams of top-flight lawyers before securing the services of Advocate Laurance Hodes in mid- August.

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega has also failed to put a confirmatory affidavit from former acting police commissioner Major General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi before the court, something her lawyer called an oversight.

This dealt with Mkhwanazi’s statement that orders to drop an investigation into Mdluli came from “beyond him”.

Attempts to contact Kirsh for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

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