Breytenbach: Judge warns over ‘bundu justice’

2012-05-15 00:00

ANY attempt to settle the serious allegations against advocate Glynnis Breytenbach on paper would be tantamount to “bundu justice”.

This was the finding of Judge Hennie Lacock in his judgment in the Northern Cape High Court in which he denied an application by Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) to have search-and-seizure warrants against them set aside.

Among other things, ICT argued that Breytenbach, the suspended regional chief of the specialised commercial crime unit, abused her powers in a fraud and forgery investigation against that company.

ICT claimed that Breytenbach and the investigating officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sandra van Wyk, acted improperly by obtaining the warrants in order to assist Kumba Resource’s legal team in a civil suit regarding prospecting rights in the Sishen mine.

Lacock said in his judgment that he would not express an opinion on the allegations.

In December last year another court found that ICT did not have a right to the prospecting rights.

Kumba and ICT have laid charges of fraud against one another. Kumba alleges that possible forged title deeds were used to obtain the mineral rights.

President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and the Gupta brothers have links with ICT.

Two weeks ago the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) used the investigation into Breytenbach’s alleged abuse of powers as the reason for suspending her with pay.

A week before her suspension Breytenbach handed a memorandum to acting NPA chief advocate Nomgcobo Jiba in which she requested a review of the decision by her boss, advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, not to prosecute Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli on charges of fraud.

Jiba was given an ultimatum that if she did not review the decision not to prosecute, Breytenbach would not hesitate to question it in court.

Breytenbach believes there is a prima facie case against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

After more than a week’s repeated inquiries the NPA has not yet responded to questions whether Jiba has studied the memorandum and reached a decision on its merits.

The wording of some paragraphs in the statements against Breytenbach and Van Wyk submitted to the court by ICT is identical to those in charges submitted to suspended NPA chief advocate Menzi Simelane by ICT legal representative Ronnie Mendelow in October last year.

The NPA is also not responding to questions as to why Breytenbach has been suspended only now regarding allegations made more than six months ago.

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