Lawyer: Breytenbach didn’t delete evidence

2012-07-25 14:37

Pretoria - Claiming evidence was deleted from suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's laptop was "reckless and misleading", her lawyer said on Wednesday.

"It's a highly incriminating statement to make... it was reckless and misleading," Wim Trengove said at her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

He was cross-examining Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) integrity management unit.

Wasserman told the hearing on Tuesday: "A forensic report... found that certain evidence was intentionally destroyed and deleted from the laptop."

508 files deleted

Trengove asked on Wednesday how Wasserman could have known that what was deleted was evidence.

Wasserman said 508 files were deleted, but the forensic report indicated these were not retrievable so it was not possible to know their content.

"You had no basis for your evidence that what was deleted was evidence," Trengove said.

He said Wasserman had not told the hearing that nothing had been deleted from the laptop before April 30 - the day Breytenbach was suspended.

A mirror copy of the hard drive was made in the presence of two NPA officials, before files "of a personal nature" were deleted.

Sixteen charges

The officials had declined an offer for a copy of the hard drive, Trengove said.
Wasserman said: "It wasn't brought to my attention."

His unit was asked to investigate Breytenbach after a complaint by Mendelow Jacobs Attorneys on behalf of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) in December last year.

This related to a dispute between ICT and Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore over mining rights, which Breytenbach investigated.

Breytenbach has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges brought against her by the NPA at the hearing at its offices in Silverton.

The hearing continues.

  • andre.marx - 2012-07-25 14:44

    I have a feeling .... just a feeling, that the goverment is not going to come out of this smelling like roses. They should have suspected when the defendant insisted the hearing be held with the press present. There is simply no cure for stupidity.

      Squeegee - 2012-07-25 15:22

      Could they smell any more like &@#$ than they already do?

      john.fourie.18 - 2012-07-25 15:23

      Sure, but the populace has no sense of smell.

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-07-25 15:39

      They've taken on a lady who is a bit sharper than they are....

      Erna - 2012-07-25 15:57

      I hope you're right. Nothing would make me happier. At least she's got a good lawyer. Never thought she would have been as stupid to delete stuff, and not know that it would be traceable.

  • JaredVN - 2012-07-25 14:51

    She was originally accused of deleting emails, but it's a pretty stupid accusation to say that somebody deleted emails off her local disk. Most organizations have server-based email, e.g. Microsoft Exchange, which means that, even though you delete emails off your local disk, somewhere in the corporation's backups the server version of your emails will still exist.

      jpstrauss - 2012-07-25 15:51

      Depends on the configuration.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-07-25 14:53

    This is a trend is SA, if you under investigation get someone to trump up charges, fabricate nonsense, accuse the person investigating you of serious crimes and then sit back, continue with your criminal activities knowing that you will not be investigated because all role players are fighting each other...

      john.fourie.18 - 2012-07-25 15:25

      Yep. Just go ask Pikoli.

  • joe.irwin.50 - 2012-07-25 14:56

    To all of you who were ready to accept that she is guilty of deleting evidence, what do you have to say now. Nothing was deleted before she was suspended and a mirror copy of the hard drive was made. It is sickening when officials of the NPA will stoop so low. There is no way that Wasserman could not have known about this copy.

  • tom.theunissen.12 - 2012-07-25 14:57

    Wasserman said: "It wasn't brought to my attention." What kind of investigator is he? The npa thinks everybody are idiots but the sad thing for them is that they lost half of their collective brain power when they suspended this women.

  • braamc - 2012-07-25 15:05

    She is going to f them up. They want her to keep quiet. You go girl!

      Nicki.Labuschagne - 2012-07-25 15:07

      Yes Glynnis, go for it! We are proud of you and support you.

  • Nicki.Labuschagne - 2012-07-25 15:14

    Watch your back Glynnis, the cowards are afraid and desperate. Take care and good luck in your fight for justice, we salute you!

      rontheogre - 2012-07-25 18:45

      Now that you mention it, I remember that she recently had an attempt on her life when she was shot at. Wish more people had the hairies that this woman has.

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-07-25 15:17

    Lawyers always denies the truth or some how manipulate it. I have a strong feeling that this woman is guilty.

      crazyjourno - 2012-07-25 15:25

      Guilty of trying to expose the deep rotten corruption going on in this "great" government structure we your eyes man!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-25 15:27

      I have a feeling you don't know that legal processes don't rely on hunches. Verifiable evidence or facts must be presented. Imagine arriving at your parking spot and finding that your car has been stolen. The next day you see your ex girlfriend as you open a case at the police station and say: “I have a feeling that this woman is guilty”. The Police will smack you silly and tell you to go home and take your medication

      peter.ndamase - 2012-07-25 15:29

      My eyes are wide open, let's look at both sides. The corrupt structure and a citizen who thought she is law unto herself. She is no different to other corrupt officials if she prosecute other cases and protects companies that she has in/direct interest in

      john.fourie.18 - 2012-07-25 15:30

      What are the charges and the facts surrounding those charges? Just a short little summary on it would suffice, if you please.

      pierrefrewd.juice - 2012-07-25 15:32

      I guess you also have a strong feeling that Mdludli is innocent, Shaik is terminally ill, South Africas education and health systems are up to scratch, and that our President cares about you. Funnily enough the whole NPA that is accusing her is employing lawyers, so manipulation the same just as relevant to the NPA, plank.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-25 15:32

      Ndamase you have already found her guilty based on what those who accuse her say? It's a good thing you are not the chairman of that hearing because justice will be miscarried if such a biased person were presiding

      mike.clery - 2012-07-25 15:39

      Guilty of what?

      pierrefrewd.juice - 2012-07-25 15:41

      misconduct. it baffles the mind.

      rontheogre - 2012-07-25 18:47

      Peter, the very first bit of evidence was today proven to be miss-presented when her legal counsel showed that no files were deleted until the day she handed over the laptop and after a copy of the hard drive was made. Only THEN were her personal files deleted!

  • - 2012-07-25 15:25

    Just rememberwho are behind ICT...highly 'connected' people who didn't like it when an independant minded a civil servant stood in their way to grab, what was it again, billions? And then she had the temirity of not following orders to look the other way in in the matter of another highly connected person. She was a pain in the whatsisname and had to be taken out of the way.

  • hannes.piek.9 - 2012-07-25 15:31

    To stoop so low as to remark how she looks is rather stupendous - do you look any better. Oh ... I have forgotten, you made youself and look like a Greek god! Sorreeeeee!. And the type of repsonses is beyound me. If you can not say anything proper rather keep quiet. Again News24, maybe time to take out the trash?

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-07-25 15:34

    I hope well to do advocates like Breytenbach are footing their own legal bills and not the state!

      john.fourie.18 - 2012-07-25 15:38

      Since she is not a well to do Government Official, I am sure she is footing her own bill

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-25 15:39

      You must be psychic or a sangoma to know people's financial positions just by reading about their titles

      Thebigguyjim - 2012-07-26 12:41

      Pumi I doubt the employer is picking up the fees the high price lawyers charge. But when she is found INNOCENT of the charges I hope she sues them and gets R50 mil in damages. Even if the TAXPAYER will be paying.

  • charles.gregory.7906 - 2012-07-25 15:43

    You go! She is playing them like a the fools they are she isn't guity big stories is stil coming from this watch this space!!!

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-25 15:47

    You need to have intelligence and wisdom to know whether you have a strong case or not. Hope we don't have another crying lawyer!

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-07-25 15:48

    Somebody else took over from her in December and ICT was still kicked out. So now they want to find her guilty of what. This was the only way they could keep her away from the skelm spi

  • chris.cooper.7315720 - 2012-07-25 15:52

    I am finding all this remarkably amusing. It's great. First it was Redi Thlabi grilling Jacob Zuma on her radio show and now this farcical herpy derpery with Glynnis Breytenbach.

  • bongani.nsele.58 - 2012-07-25 16:00

    who is paying for all these expensive lawyers for this auntie, i mean she is only an employee....funny she is acting as a lone wolf in the NPA or is she not alone

  • Erna - 2012-07-25 16:02

    Wasserman told the hearing he had reassured Breytenbach that her personal information would be treated with sensitivity when she refused to hand over the laptop. Trengove said this had not happened, and instead investigators had used personal information to draw up further charges. This included using Breytenbach's application for car finance in 2009 to draw up a charge of performing work outside the NPA; she allegedly rented out a flat and ran a horse stabling business. In her application for car finance, Breytenbach listed under “other income” that she earned R4000 a month for renting out a flat and stabling a horse. “You were meant to be investigating the Mendelow complaint... and this document has nothing whatsoever to do with it,” Trengove said. Wasserman conceded: “This did not have anything to do with the Mendelow complaint.” On IOL - interesting.

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