Breytenbach hearing continues

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breytenbach Independent Newspapers Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. File photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - Suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's choice of vocabulary came up at her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria on Thursday.

“Chair, it was language like 'fuck you', it was language very similar,” attorney Anthony Norton said during his testimony.

Chairman Selby Mbenenge SC came to his rescue, saying: “There was an 'f' and a 'k' and all those things?”

“Ja,” said Norton.

Norton's firm was involved in the criminal aspect of mining company Kumba Iron Ore's mining and prospecting rights dispute with Imperial Crown Trading (ICT).

Norton had been testifying on a meeting, set up with a man who claimed to have information about a bribe ICT allegedly paid to department of mineral resources officials, with Breytenbach.

Norton said at a previous meeting that Breytenbach had complained about the size of the legal team they brought to their meetings. She asked for the room to be cleared of all but essential people.

At a follow-up meeting with Kumba's legal team Norton said he and Breytenbach had an altercation, again over the size of the legal team.

Breytenbach took him to task, saying he needed to understand who was in charge.

He was told he was there at her behest and she would determine how the investigation was conducted.

This was accompanied by “finger pointing” and “do you understand?” from Breytenbach, he said.

One of the complaints against Breytenbach by ICT in October 2011, is that she was inappropriately close to Kumba's lawyer Michael Hellens, and that he had helped Breytenbach draw up warrants for searches and seizures.

Norton was asked if he had had any concerns about whether Hellens should be helping Breytenbach draw up warrants. He said that he had, and that he sought advice from a number of senior counsel, including advocate Gilbert Marcus SC, who felt it was “alright”.

Marcus was also one of the lawyers acting for Kumba in other aspects of the dispute, the hearing was told.

The hearing continues.

Sapa


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