ICT director questioned in Breytenbach hearing

ICT director Archie Luhlabo says he recorded a meeting to avoid being misquoted.

Suspended National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

PRETORIA - A secret recording during an apparently irregular attempt to turn a suspect into a state witness was central to suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing in Silverton, Pretoria, on Thursday.

She is accused of offering a deal to Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) director Archie Luhlabo via Kumba's advocate Mike Hellens.

Breytenbach was suspended as head of the National Prosecuting Authority's specialised crimes unit in April.

The NPA says the senior prosecutor was suspended because of the way she handled a mining rights case involving Shisen/Kumba and ICT.

But Breytenbach insists the move was to stop her from prosecuting controversial policeman Richard Mdluli.

When Breytenbach heard that Luhlabo wanted to turn state witness, she was ready to make him an offer.

The approach reached Luhlabo through Hellens via another senior counsel member, Nazeer Cassim.

At the time, Breytenbach thought Cassim was acting for Luhlabo.

Luhlabo, a Kimberley businessman, testified during the hearing that he wore a secret recorder to tape his meeting with Cassim to ensure he was not misquoted later.

The businessman said he was angry at the approach as he had done nothing to warrant a defection.

But Breytenbach's legal team argued Luhlabo tried to deceive Cassim and entrap him.