Media wants in on Breytenbach hearings

2012-11-13 12:44
Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Herman Verwey/City Press

Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Herman Verwey/City Press

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Pretoria - The media has applied to cover the proceedings around the suspension of NPA senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, the Public Sector Bargaining Council said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Sharlaine Oditt said the application for admission was made by Talk Radio 702 and covered general media.

Breytenbach is set to apply to the council for the overturning of her eight-month suspension. She was suspended as regional head of the National Prosecuting Authority's specialised commercial crime unit on April 30.

She has argued that acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her to try and stop her from prosecuting former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.

Breytenbach supports media access

Breytenbach has pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges brought against her by the NPA. Her internal disciplinary hearing is set to resume next year.

It will be chaired by advocate Selby Mbenenge, who was appointed three weeks ago after Sandile July recused himself.

In July Breytenbach supported applications by the print and broadcast media for access to her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

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

The application was brought after the NPA decided that journalists would not even be allowed inside its building, let alone into Breytenbach's hearing.

Hearings a private affair - NPA

This was despite a ruling by disciplinary hearing chairperson Barry Madolo allowing the print media access.

The NPA argued that Madolo, who has since recused himself from the hearing, had no authority to make such a decision and that the decision was "irrational".

The national director of public prosecutions opposed the media’s application on the grounds that disciplinary hearings were a private affair, and that the presence of the media might intimidate witnesses.

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

The hearing would deal with matters of significant constitutional importance and should be in the public domain, she said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  glynnis breytenbach
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