Breytenbach: NPA official faces grilling

2012-08-13 17:40

Johannesburg - An NPA official is expected to be cross-examined about suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's laptop when her disciplinary inquiry resumes in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Khaya Xaba, a risk specialist at the National Prosecuting Authority, testified last Monday that he handed Breytenbach a letter of suspension on 30 April.

He was supposed to collect her work laptop, keys, and access discs at the same time.

However, Xaba and Breytenbach's attorney Gerhard Wagenaar disagreed about the handing over of the laptop.

Xaba allowed Breytenbach to keep the laptop so her IT specialist could delete files she claimed were of a personal nature from its hard drive. The laptop was handed to the NPA two days later.

Among the charges Breytenbach faces are gross insubordination and improper conduct, for allegedly not handing her work laptop to the NPA, and for having information on it deleted.

Breytenbach argued she did not hand over the computer because of fears about an invasion of her privacy and because she had not been given any information about the charges against her.

She argued that the deleted information had always been available on the NPA's server.

Breytenbach, who was suspended as regional head of the specialised commercial crime unit, has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges brought against her by the NPA, at the hearing at its offices in Silverton.

The NPA said it suspended Breytenbach for failing to act impartially in her investigation of a dispute between Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) and Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore over mining rights.

However, Breytenbach argued that acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her in an attempt to stop her from prosecuting former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.

Last year, Mdluli faced a raft of fraud and corruption charges relating to the alleged misuse of a secret crime intelligence fund to buy luxury vehicles. He also faced a charge of murder relating to the death of an ex-lover's husband.

These charges led to his initial suspension, but they were withdrawn and he was reinstated in December before being suspended again in May this year.

Mdluli appealed against his suspension in the Johannesburg Labour Court, but it decided that he should remain suspended until he had also filed an application for leave to appeal an interim order -- which was granted by the High Court in Pretoria on June 6, to Freedom Under Law -- that he be suspended and not be allowed to do police work.

Breytenbach is charged with bringing the NPA into disrepute by speaking to the media, either directly or via her attorney, without authorisation.

Another charge she faces is that of performing work outside the NPA, for allegedly renting out a flat and running a horse stabling business.

In an application for car finance in 2009, Breytenbach listed under "other income" that she earned R4000 a month for renting out a flat and stabling a horse.

Her counsel Wim Trengove SC pointed out in cross-examination that renting out a flat did not amount to performing remunerative work.

Breytenbach had stabled a horse for a friend's child which had cost her R2 500 a month, although the friend could only contribute R1000 towards this, he said.

Trengove called the reading of the car finance e-mail an abuse of Breytenbach's constitutional right to privacy of her communication, and accused the NPA of trawling through her e-mails to "rustle up" charges.

Trengove contended that Breytenbach had not been informed of the charges against her and was not given a chance to defend them before she was suspended.

Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the NPA's integrity management unit, admitted under cross-examination that the first time Breytenbach received partial details of the allegations against her was on 18 April.

He admitted Breytenbach was not told of the full case against her.

Jiba made the decision to suspend her on 23 April, despite the fact that Wasserman had given Breytenbach until 25 April to respond to the allegations.

Her disciplinary resumes on Tuesday at 10:00.

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-08-13 18:01

    Are we invited to the braai? Would love to attend the grilling! Stand tough Glynnis, once this is over, you will be a better, stronger person. The truth will come out sooner or later and we all know that ICT is an extremely politically sensitive matter. You have nothing to fear from these bungling amateurs.

  • atholl.canterbury - 2012-08-13 18:11

    The sheep are now in the arena. ... they focus all their resources to target and tarnish the free thinking lamb. ... the sheep do not posses the ability to cast their eyes toward the grandstand. The grandstand is where the wolves await the result of their dividing plot. .... the wolves know that ... for today.. Khaya Xaba, a risk specialist at the National Prosecuting Authority - will be useful. Extremely useful.

  • aubrey.christie - 2012-08-13 18:19

    Go for it Glynnis, eat them up for breakfast. These idiots only think that they are intelligent.

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-08-13 19:38

    "Among the charges Breytenbach faces are gross insubordination and improper conduct, for allegedly not handing her work laptop to the NPA, and for having information on it deleted." I don't understand that bit, as it happened after the fact, therefore cannot form part of the reasons for her suspension.

      John - 2012-08-13 22:23

      That's how stupid the THUGS are they do not know the difference between today and yesterday. TIME, PLACE, FORM and EVENT constitutes TRUTH, which is foreign to THUGS!

  • willem.wulfse - 2012-08-13 20:29

    This is a typical example of the Zuma shenanigans. He is an arch manipulator and that is how he has managed to stay out of jail. He maneuvers the right people into the right positions to protect him from justice. Glynnis was a spoke in the wheel of the Zuma machinery, therefore she faces the trumped up charges.

      John - 2012-08-13 22:29

      ZOOMA should play against Russell in SURVIVOR. That should be interesting. ZOOMER does not need the money he makes more from his mate SCHABIR. Manipulators supreme.

  • Vince.York - 2012-08-13 22:02

    Racist ANC witch hunt, to bully through some other corruption as nefariously as possible in the background, all in line with keeping zuma from the courts for a multitude of evils.

  • John - 2012-08-13 22:18

    The thugs are being caught out. Politics should have no part in OUR judiciary who should prosecute without fear or favour. EVERYBODY must NEVER put any personal information on the EMPLOYER'S WORK computer. This becomes the intellectual PROPERTY of the EMPLOYER. Keep your PRIVATE communications on your PRIVATE computer or filing system. THUGS can turn on you at any time that YOU do not toe the PARTY line. Watch out, trust no one until one has proved one CAN be trusted, then still be extremely CAREFUL!

  • dutchman.vanniekerk - 2012-08-14 08:32

    ..."acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba..."; "Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the NPA's integrity management unit...". So it seems this place is run by a buch of actors! Clearly not very good either....

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