Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Breytenbach hearing: NPA accuses Norton of making up evidence

Attorney Anthony Norton, who represents mining giant Kumba Iron Ore, testified that his partner Anton Roets had received a tip from an attorney, who he did not want to name, regarding a director of their rival Imperial Crown Trading (ICT).

Norton testified that Roets was told that a director from ICT had evidence on his company – who is being investigated for fraud in relation to a mining rights application – and that this person would possibly turn state witness in return for indemnity. It subsequently came to light that the ICT director was Archie Luhlabo. >Norton testified that he was told that ICT director Archie Luhlabo had >evidence on his company – who is being investigated for fraud in >relation to a mining rights application – and that Luhlabo would >possible turn state witness in return for indemnity. >The NPA’s Mandla Zulu put it to Norton: “We will argue that this >information does not exist, on the basis you dont want to disclose the >name of these informants.”

The NPA's Mandla Zulu put it to Norton: "We will argue that this information does not exist, on the basis you don't want to disclose the name of these informants."

To which Norton responded: "Are you suggesting I am lying about the evidence I have testified about? It is not a fiction, it's a fact. You don't come here to lie to these proceedings. If the NPA thinks it can hide behind qualified attorney privilege, I will sue them all for defamation." To which Zulu shot back: "Don't threaten me." 

Sensitive information
Norton explained that the NPA had no "factual basis" for its proposition and that the name of the attorney, whom he had dealt with, was confidential. "The party who disclosed the information about Luhlabo to us may feel it is sensitive and he may not want his identity disclosed," Norton said.

Zulu then demanded to know why Norton had not discussed the hearing with the attorney, who the NPA has always asserted don't exist.

There was a brief adjournment to allow Norton time to try and call the attorney in question but he could not get hold of him. Zulu said the information was vital to the rest of his cross-examination. Breytenbach was suspended in April 2012 for her alleged lack of impartiality in the fraud investigation into ICT.

The company has been locked in a battle with rival miner Kumba Iron Ore's subsidiary Sishen Iron Ore Company (Sioc) over a multibillion-rand stake in the Sishen Iron Ore mine in the Northern Cape since 2009. Breytenbach was accused of "engaging" Sioc's legal counsel, advocate Michael Hellens, against ICT in the drafting of affidavits for an application for a search-and-seizure warrant in 2010.

* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email [email protected]

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Sally Evans
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

SAA takes to the skies again after 18 months grounded

After an 18-month hiatus, the national carrier has done away with major routes that would have required it to use much larger fleets

Judge John Hlophe withdraws interdict against parliament

The matter will be heard by a judge of the Johannesburg division when the matter is re-enrolled

Almost 2 000 South Africans step up to report corruption

The most-reported crimes range from extortion and abuse of authority to Covid-19 related graft, according to a new report by Corruption Watch

Nersa approves Karpowership generation licences

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has questioned why Nersa has not immediately provided its reasons for issuing the controversial generation licences
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×