Witness apologises for false accusation

2013-01-16 20:04

Pretoria - A witness in the disciplinary hearing of suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach had to apologise on Wednesday for accusing a lawyer or a senior police officer of "planting" evidence in a court case.

Ronald Mendelow, the lawyer for Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) said an affidavit by a forensic investigator, Dirk Engelbrecht, was surreptitiously slipped into a court record.

Breytenbach's counsel Wim Trengove took Mendelow to task regarding the serious accusation.

"Your insulting accusation this morning was completely false, correct?" Trengove asked.

This was after he pointed out that Mendelow himself had filed Engelbrecht's affidavit as part of an annexure to the investigating officer Sandra van Wyk's affidavit.

"The point you were making is that it was unlawfully slipped into the court file. [But] you were the one who filed it," said Trengove.

Mendelow conceded he was wrong and apologised, putting it down to a misunderstanding between himself and a correspondent.

When asked who he thought had "planted" the affidavit, Mendelow could not say.

"So who planted it into the affidavit? Nobody planted it, full-stop," said Trengove.

"Under oath you accused either lawyers or a senior officer of planting evidence."

Mendelow replied: "I have apologised." Trengove said Mendelow had made a "slap-dash inquiry".

"Why make the accusation if your investigation has been so superficial?" he asked Mendelow.

Mendelow lodged a complaint against Breytenbach last year, saying she was focusing too heavily on ICT during the National Prosecuting Authority's investigation into the Kumba Iron Ore/Sishen dispute, and not enough on Kumba/Sishen.

Breytenbach was suspended as regional head of the NPA's specialised commercial crime unit on 30 April last year.

She argues 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.

Breytenbach has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges brought against her by the NPA.

The hearing continues.

  • charles.alfonso.7 - 2013-01-16 20:34


      godfrey.welman - 2013-01-16 21:51

      The NPA is loosing the last bit of credability quickly. Surely when Glynnis insisted on the media to be present, the NPA must have realized she knows she has a strong case.

  • dave.elmore.5 - 2013-01-16 20:37

    Trengove rocks!

  • Erna - 2013-01-16 21:36

    As I said before. If ever in trouble he'd be good to have on your side.

  • rory.n.price - 2013-01-16 22:52

    Trengrove made for life, what a lawyer, NPA, must have brown underpants

  • piet.boerie - 2013-01-17 04:19

    Ronald Mendelow will represent Zuma's son and Zuma's chommies the Guptas. He is trying to muddy the waters for the real case and should never ever be allowed to be a witness as he has not witnesed anything other than hearsay. Zuma is using the state to turn on the state to protect fatboy son as he is in big trouble for photo copying the deed of another company.

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