NPA suspends Mdluli prosecutor

2012-04-30 11:42
Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday suspended top commercial crimes prosecutor Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach.

Breytenbach was suspended three months after the NPA served her with a notice to suspend.

She was the prosecutor in the fraud and corruption case against crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli and is understood to have pushed for the continuation of the case, that was removed from the court roll in December.

Breytenbach's lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar confirmed her suspension by acting NPA head Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba on Monday, saying the official reason given by the NPA was that his client allegedly abused her powers in the Kumba fraud case.

Breytenbach denies wrongdoing

Breytenbach was the prosecutor in a case concerning the awarding of mining rights at Sishen to politically-connected Imperial Crown Trading (ICT). Kumba subsequently laid a charge of fraud against ICT, and Breytenbach was appointed as prosecutor.

ICT's directors and legal representatives subsequently complained to the NPA that Breytenbach was seen as being too close to Kumba and its legal representatives.

Breytenbach denies any wrongdoing.

Her supporters in and outside the NPA believe the Kumba complaint is a red herring and that her persistence to prosecute Mdluli led to her suspension by her bosses in the NPA.

Jiba is linked to Mdluli through an affidavit he filed in support of her when she was suspended by the NPA in 2008 after the arrest of prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

NPA confirms suspension

Mdluli claimed he had access to interceptions of telephone calls that showed Nel was being protected by the NPA.

Wagenaar said Breytenbach was still considering her options.

NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke confirmed Breytenbach's suspension. "She has been provided with reasons for her suspension after she was given more than enough time to respond.

"The next step will be an internal disciplinary hearing where all allegations will be addressed substantively."

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