Media allowed access to Breytenbach hearing

2012-07-23 10:18
Glynnis Breytenbach (Supplied)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Media must be allowed at the disciplinary hearing of suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, the North Gauteng High Court ruled on Monday.

"It is of the utmost importance that the media has access to this disciplinary hearing... " Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled.

The hearing would deal with matters of significant constitutional importance and should be in the public domain, she said.

Breytenbach was suspended as regional head of the specialised commercial crime unit on April 30, allegedly for conduct relating to cases allocated to her.

Application against suspension dismissed

She contended that she believed acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her in an attempt to protect former intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

On Wednesday, Johannesburg Labour Court Judge Hamilton Cele dismissed her application against suspension from the National Prosecuting Authority.

This was because Breytenbach failed to show there were compelling or urgent circumstances to justify a final declaration of the unlawfulness of her suspension, he said.

He said however that if the NPA did exercise its right to discipline Breytenbach, it could be found to be "flouting and frustrating" the aims of an investigation ordered by the High Court in Pretoria into Mdluli's suspension.

NPA: Hearings private affairs

On Friday, Media24, Avusa Media and M-Net launched an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday for access to Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing.

Permission for the print media was initially granted by disciplinary hearing chairperson Barry Madolo, but the NPA subsequently said Madolo, who has since recused himself from the hearing, had no authority to make such a decision.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions is opposing the application on the grounds that disciplinary hearings are private affairs and that the presence of the media might intimidate witnesses.
- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  richard mdluli  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  judiciary
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