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Breytenbach DC: Kumba lawyer defends claims

Mike Hellens has defended allegations levelled against him in Glynnis Breytenbach's DC.

Suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Mandy Wiener/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Advocate Mike Hellens on Thursday defended allegations levelled against him in prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing, saying there was nothing untoward about his involvement.

Hellens testified as a witness for Breytenbach.

She was suspended from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in April 2012, apparently for her handling of a multibillion rand mining rights case and for showing bias towards Hellens and his client Kumba Iron Ore Limited.

Hellens cited numerous examples of cases he had been involved in, where auditing firms or corporates compiled dockets and then handed them over to investigating officers.

He said in the mining rights case, he assisted with drawing up affidavits for a policewoman and said they were merely drafts.

"Unlike my own documents, where I draw them and say: 'That is it, it's settled', that was a draft.

"They could throw it away if they wanted… they could do whatever they wanted."

In his wry, entertaining manner, Hellens also dismissed claims about his relationship with Breytenbach, saying it would be astonishing to suggest they appeared as a couple at court.

Earlier in his testimony, Hellens described Breytenbach as robust, fair and thoroughly independent.

He said he had known Breytenbach for 25 years.

Hellens recounted anecdotes of "ding-dong" court battles, many of which he quipped he had won.

He said she would offer one tea and biscuits, but that she would turn against them if they dared lie to her.

"She was always fair, but if you trifled with her, if you tried to sell her a lie or something like that, you would be sorry.

"And she would explain in what direction you should depart and by what means - with no expletives deleted."

Hellens said Breytenbach was always independent and in control of her cases.

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