I only deleted personal stuff - Breytenbach

2016-02-15 13:23
Glynnis Breytenbach. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Glynnis Breytenbach. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach says she never deleted any information linked to her work while she was still a prosecutor with the National Prosecuting Authority.

"I deleted nothing on my computer that was not private," she told reporters outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

"Everything I deleted is in the server. It's not destroyed."

Breytenbach handed herself to police on Monday and appeared in court on four charges of contravening section 4 of the NPA Act and obstruction of justice.

She was released on R10 000 bail.

During her brief appearance, prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa asked for the matter to be postponed to March 16, to allow the defence to receive a copy of the docket.

The court was handed a list of witnesses she could not interfere with while out on bail. The defence agreed to the postponement and to abide by the bail conditions.

'Politically motivated'

The NPA claims Breytenbach shredded work-related papers and wiped her laptop’s hard drive clean while she was still the head of the organisation's specialised commercial crimes unit.

The NPA said her lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar refused to hand over her laptop, which was believed to contain evidence related to the case.

Breytenbach refuted this, saying she went through an internal disciplinary hearing and was acquitted on all charges.

"I do believe that these charges are politically motivated. It's got to do with all the litigation the DA is busy with and making it uncomfortable for the ruling party," she said.

Breytenbach said did not hold back and accused politicians of pulling strings within the justice cluster to protect certain individuals. She referred to the recent appointment of Prince Mokotedi as Gauteng Hawks head. Mokotedi brought the initial charges against her.

Mokotedi was the head of the NPA’s integrity management unit until he faced a disciplinary committee in 2014 for gross insubordination‚ dissemination of false and misleading information‚ and bringing the NPA into disrepute. The charges were dropped after he quit.

Mokotedi was suspended after a document on Breytenbach was leaked to the media. He denied leaking it.

In April 2012, Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA and later a disciplinary hearing on 15 charges. These included failing to act impartially while investigating the Kumba Iron Ore and Imperial Crown Trading mining rights issue involving the Sishen mine. She was accused of "improper relations" with Sishen's lawyer Mike Hellens.

She was cleared of the charges, but quit the NPA and joined the DA in January 2014.

Breytenbach argued that the case against her was due to her wanting to prosecute former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Glynnis Breytenbach (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

'There is only one way to prove my innocence'

Breytenbach said it appeared that Mokotedi’s appointment was strategic.

"It is good planning by the powers that be. They have Miss [Nomgcobo] Jiba in the NPA, Mr Mokotedi in the Hawks. It’s a good team to protect whoever needs to be protected and go after whoever needs to be gone after," she said.

"I'm looking forward to the trial and I will co-operate the best I can, and I will allow it to run its course. Having it quashed would mean I have something to hide. There is only one way to prove my innocence.”

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said they had a strong case and denied that it was politically motivated.

The Democratic Alliance’s Tshwane mayoral candidate, Solly Msimang, said the charges were fabricated.

"We believe this is more politically motivated than getting justice. We are not going to suspend her until we see the charge sheet and until we know this is not politically motivated," he said outside the court.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  glynnis breytenbach

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