Distinguish facts from insults - lawyer

2013-01-16 22:31

Pretoria - The facts contained in a complaint about suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach need to be distinguished from insults in the letter, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

"You paint a picture of two people acting hand-in-glove," Wim Trengove said in Pretoria.

He was referring to Breytenbach and Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore lawyer Mike Hellens SC.

Trengove was cross-examining Imperial Crown Trading's (ICT) lawyer Ronald Mendelow, who wrote the letter. He was testifying against Breytenbach.

The National Prosecuting Authority said it suspended Breytenbach on 30 April last year for failing to act impartially in her investigation of a dispute between ICT and Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore over mining rights in the Northern Cape.

This was after Mendelow sent a letter of complaint about Breytenbach to the then National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane on 31 October last year, alleging she favoured Sishen in her probe and had an improper relationship with Hellens.

Mendelow said he had seen Breytenbach and Hellens arrive at a hearing in the Kimberley High Court, where ICT lodged an urgent application to have search-and-seizure warrants against them set aside.

"When observing them... I thought they were a couple," Mendelow told the disciplinary hearing at the NPA's office.

He said they sat together and chatted animatedly.

In the letter of complaint he claimed the two were at the court on joint business.

Trengove disputed this, pointing out that Breytenbach was at court because her investigation was being challenged. Hellens was there because Sishen/Kumba were applying to intervene in the hearing.

The two talked as they waited for court proceedings to begin.

Trengove asked Mendelow if it was wrong for a prosecutor and attorney to be good friends.

"Prosecutors are usually on friendly terms with complainants," he said.

Earlier, Trengove said Breytenbach and Hellens had a long-standing relationship and were good friends, but when it came to work they maintained a professional relationship.

"They have been adversaries in many cases and have gotten to know each other very well and are good friends. But they still maintain a professional relationship, and regularly act against one another as adversaries," he said.

In his letter Mendelow accused Breytenbach of supplying documents to Hellens.

Mendelow said Hellens and Breytenbach had a improper relationship and it seemed Hellens was "calling the shots".

Trengove would continue cross-examining Mendelow on Thursday.

  • precious.yumyum - 2013-01-17 02:22

    another stupid npa's mSHOWERlozi inspired witch-hunt that they will lose. npa needs real cases. wait a minute, they have those, like bringing to sa criminals like shrien dewani. but they do not have time 4them.

  • piet.boerie - 2013-01-17 04:15

    Ronald Mendelow is making public accusations which he knows is false in an attempt to, when it comes to the real corutption court case against Zuma Inc, by mudddying the waters now. He has not real interst in this case as it is a disciplinary hearing but preparing for the real defence. Lawyers that make false accusations in court that appear in print should be held libel.

      Sibusiso - 2013-01-17 05:53

      Boere Ninja! This case has nothing to do with that of Zuma.

      piet.boerie - 2013-01-17 09:16

      Actually if you look carefully it does so I suggest open your eyes and mind wider and see the dotted lines. Duduzane Zuma, the son of President Jacob Zuma; the Gupta brothers, close friends of Zuma and Sandile Zungu are from ICT which was fingered by the prosecutor for photocopying the deed ssubmitted to the department. So who gave the deed to these individuals in the middle of the night? To Quote: The state has apparently sided with ICT, the company with political connections at the highest level. And "the highest level" means no less than President Jacob Zuma. So the Ninja knows, I dont know how a government official died in strange circumstances on a isloated dirt road. Do you comrade?

      piet.boerie - 2013-01-17 09:23

      So the deed was handed in Friday afternoon around 4PM, it was the only deed yet by Monday Zuma's son company ICT had a deed that was photo copied and the competitions name was TIPXED out. I would check government records to which department suddenly over a weekend used up a couple of 1000 photo copy papers. They could have spent about $5million rand, done it properly and won the tender but so lazy is our fatboy that they photocopied it and even faked the Enviromental report. Zuma had nothing to do with the fact the prosecutor who picked it up is prosecuted? And then there is the death on a lonely dusty road.....

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