Breytenbach: NPA ‘witch hunt’

2013-07-03 00:00

THE National Prosecution Authority (NPA) had acted outside the law by not reinstating advocate Glynnis Breytenbach to her position as regional head of the NPA’s specialised commercial crime unit in Pretoria.

“It is a constitutional violation. It is a breach of constitutional imperative. Secondly, it is a breach of her employment contract. By transferring her to a position which is not the same as the one she held before, her contract of employment has been breached,” said advocate Andrew Redding SC, Breytenbach’s legal representative in the Johannesburg labour court, yesterday.

“What began as an investigation into her conduct blew up into … a federal case against her,” Redding said, adding that from the day the NPA had levelled allegations against Breytenbach, the prosecuting ­authority had done all it could to prevent her returning to her position in order to prevent her from getting the files on former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Breytenbach asked the court for an interdict against the NPA and its acting head, advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, to declare her transfer invalid.

Breytenbach said the NPA had committed a breach of contract when it did not reinstate her after her suspension was lifted and she was acquitted on all 15 charges following an NPA disciplinary hearing on May 27.

Redding said the case was urgent and in the public interest because history showed that the NPA had interfered before and was also interfering with Breytenbach’s independence. He said the three new charges Jiba had laid against her constituted a “witch hunt”.

Advocate William Mokhari SC, for the NPA, said Breytenbach has in more than a year failed to provide any proof to substantiate her repeated allegation that the NPA was trying to get rid of her to protect Mdluli.

Mokhari said the case was not urgent and should in fact be scrapped.

“The position that she has been deployed to does not take away her right as a prosecutor to prosecute matters,” he said.

Redding said the NPA protected prosecutors against interference and that the NPA should obey its own laws. Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker reserved judgment.

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