NPA applying double standards - lawyer

2012-07-27 14:41

Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority is applying double standards in its action against suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, her lawyer said on Friday.

"... It's sheer double standards, you are gunning for her," Wim Trengove said at her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

Trengove asked how Breytenbach's "tentative" inference in her Labour Court application that her suspension letter was backdated, could have led to charges against her.

One of the charges Breytenbach is facing is that of bringing the NPA into disrepute in her application to the Labour Court, for accusing her employer of backdating her suspension letter.

"There's no assertion as a matter of fact that the suspension was backdated... she makes it clear it's an inference," Trengove said.

Jiba’s dispute with NPA

He was cross-examining Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the NPA's integrity management unit, at the authority's offices in Silverton.

This was the third day of cross-examination of Wasserman.

Trengove said the NPA had applied double standards in its treatment of Breytenbach, in comparison of its treatment of now acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba.

Jiba was involved in a long-running dispute with the NPA, in which she filed an affidavit by former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli in two applications she made to the Labour Court to have her suspension set aside.

Mdluli's affidavit refers to the NPA heads as "the mafia".

He writes: "I aver it is quite disconcerting and shamefully disgusting for the top-level of the NPA to act like a gang of criminals in a mafia-style operation designed and calculated to protect one of their own."

E-mails with journalist

Trengove asked Wasserman if Jiba was facing disciplinary charges over this statement. Wasserman said he did not know.

"It does rather pale advocate Breytenbach's tentative suspicion into insignificance, doesn't it?" Trengove asked.

Wasserman said he could not comment.

Trengove asked how Wasserman had "stumbled across" e-mails between Beeld reporter Sonja Carstens and Breytenbach, while searching for evidence about the complaint he was supposed to be investigating.

Wasserman's unit was asked to investigate Breytenbach after a complaint by Mendelow Jacobs Attorneys, on behalf of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) in October last year.

Breytenbach was alleged to have failed to have acted impartially in investigating the Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore and ICT mining rights dispute.


Wasserman told the hearing the NPA had concerns about Beeld reports.

E-mails sent from Carstens to a number of recipients, including Breytenbach, called for donations of dog and cat food, and for a PlayStation for an orphanage.

An e-mail from Breytenbach to Carstens, in Afrikaans, read: "Hi, thanks for the newspaper, G."

Trengove called the e-mails "utterly irrelevant to the Mendelow complaint".

Wasserman said they showed a friendship between Carstens and Breytenbach.

When Trengove accused Wasserman of speculating wildly about a friendship, Wasserman replied: "That is right, I speculate."

Breytenbach is facing charges of improper conduct and bringing the NPA into disrepute for speaking to the media either directly, or through her attorney.

She has denied all 16 charges against her.
The hearing continues.

  • nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-27 14:55

    Trengrove is handing the npa their "berries" on a platter.

      atholl.canterbury - 2012-07-27 15:25

      These are word that the NPA don't want to hear in any court/disciplinary hearing :: '''[ the NPA to act like a gang of criminals in a mafia-style operation designed and calculated to protect one of their own. '''] What it says is that the 'mafia NPA' First seek an unlawful solution - then when that fails they move to the nest unlawful solution --- until it's chaos upon chaos.

  • bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-07-27 14:57

    Shocking that the NPA is trying everything to find Glynnnis guilty.

  • joe.irwin.50 - 2012-07-27 15:05

    Trengrove is as sharp as they come and will kick the butts of the brightest, if they are in the wrong. Against the likes of Wasserman he need not even bother to wake up in the morning. Wasserman is under prepared and out of his league. Not clever all.

      lownabester - 2012-07-27 15:40

      Spot on, joe.irwin, He is one of the best, and she belongs to Mensa, Not a lady to tackle without gloves.

  • Brilliant Sibisi - 2012-07-27 15:10

    Have been following this one closely.....damn this woman hired a very goos lawyer...somebody who knows his job very well!!!

  • harryhobbit - 2012-07-27 15:13

    This goes up right to zuma doesn't it?

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-07-27 16:37

      Beyond that: to the NEC (National Executive Council) of the ANC. This body nods, and the comrades dance.

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-27 15:13

    Seems like the senior management of the NPA has done a very good job bringing themselves into disrepute

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-07-27 15:13

    The rot runs deep.

  • lownabester - 2012-07-27 15:38

    Glynnis is white, and know to much, Lucky with Trengove in her corner, and all of us, Lets wish her luck. One Classy clever lady.

  • John - 2012-07-27 18:07

    What the hell do we always have to drag the black white christian muslim into the issue for. Look for the TRUTH. The truth is in the EVIDENCE. Look for FACTS not OPINIONS. There is NOTHING that our SERVANTS the government should be hiding from US the PEOPLE.

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