Breytenbach denied access to information on allegations, court hears
FORMER National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advocate Glynnis Breytenbach’s right to privacy was infringed during the internal investigation into her ethical conduct, her defence claimed yesterday.
Breytenbach and her former lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar are on trial in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on four charges of contravening the NPA Act and two of defeating the ends of justice.
Breytenbach faces two additional charges of fraud and perjury.
Her defence advocate Barry Roux criticised NPA investigator Hercules Wasserman for infringing his client’s right to privacy after being requested to hand over her laptop.
Roux also claimed Wasserman denied Breytenbach access to information pertaining to allegations made against her for weeks.
“Those documents are of a business dimension and were open to scrutiny,” Wasserman told the court. “It is generally accepted that when a person refuses to hand over tools of the trade, we apply for a search and seizure.”
The NPA claimed that, in 2012, Breytenbach shredded papers and wiped clean her laptop while she was still head of the organisation’s specialised commercial crimes unit in Pretoria, in violation of the NPA Act.
Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA on April 30, 2012. She claimed this was done to stop her prosecuting former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli on charges of fraud and corruption.
Roux said Wasserman had already gained access to Breytenbach’s emails through the NPA’s server, without his client’s knowledge.
Roux maintained the entire case against his client was a smokescreen to get rid of her.
Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi postponed the matter to Monday.