Judge’s Breytenbach link not worrying ANC

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Acting High Court judge Mike Hellens ruled against the ANC in the DA sms matter. File pcture: Jennifer Bruce

Johannesburg - The ANC says it is not worried about the connection between DA candidate Glynnis Breytenbach and acting High Court Judge Mike Hellens, who ruled against the party on Friday.

But the ANC did believe Hellens erred in finding that a Democratic Alliance sms accusing President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money was fair comment.

“To us we are not necessarily worried about where this judge comes from and what his posture, (or) past could have been,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said outside the High Court in Johannesburg.

“As he sits there we think he must be guided by the laws of this country and that's why we are worried that he did not direct himself in accordance with the Electoral Act.”

Hellens made the ruling about an sms the DA sent to more than 1.5 million prospective Gauteng voters. He dismissed with costs the African National Congress's application to stop the DA from sending it.

In 2012, Hellens was linked to Breytenbach, a former National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor. Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA in April that year and later faced a lengthy disciplinary hearing on 15 charges, including that she had not acted impartially when investigating a mining rights dispute involving Kumba Iron Ore and Kumba's Sishen mine in the Northern Cape.

She was accused of “improper relations” with Hellens who was Sishen's lawyer. In May 2013, an NPA disciplinary hearing cleared her of all charges and she was allowed to return to work.

Last year it was reported that Hellens intended suing the NPA and other parties for suggesting that he and Breytenbach had an affair.

Breytenbach has left her job at the NPA to stand for the DA in the general election.

Sapa


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