Lawyer questions motives around Breytenbach affair claims

Ronnie Mendelow. (Gallo)

Ronnie Mendelow. (Gallo)

The Star reported Advocate Mike Hellens said Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) lawyer Robbie Mendelow lodged a complaint against him to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) because he had an unusually close relationship with prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, which Mendelow denied.

"The makers of those allegations will regret those allegations through their cheque books," Hellens reportedly told the paper on Wednesday.

"They said I had an unnaturally close relationship with her. That suggested that I had an affair with her. I have never had an affair with Glynnis. I have known her for probably 25 years."

Mendelow said his complaint made no insinuation whatsoever regarding a sexual or love relationship between Breytenbach and Hellens.

"Advocate Hellens knows this very well indeed, and one can only wonder at his motive for misstating that there was any such suggestion," he said.

The complaint was that Breytenbach failed to maintain objectivity over the course of an investigation against ICT.

Charges dismissed
​On Monday, Breytenbach was found not guilty on 15 counts by a disciplinary hearing which sat at the NPA's head office in Pretoria.

Breytenbach was also found not guilty on any of the alternative charges, after being suspended from the NPA on April 30 2012.

Breytenbach maintained that the charges against her were baseless and unsubstantiated. She claimed they were brought against her because she refused to squash a fraud investigation into controversial former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

It was only after she persisted with the Mdluli investigation in early 2012 – after her boss advocate Lawrence Mrwebi ordered that fraud charges against Mdluli be dropped – that Mrwebi signed off on an internal investigation into Breytenbach.

The feisty prosecutor has waited for well over a year for the ruling as her internal disciplinary hearing stopped and stalled between a shuffle of three advocates to chair the trial since it began in June last year. – Sapa

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