Breytenbach case postponed over permission to prosecute

2016-10-03 19:25
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

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Pretoria- Former NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s lawyer on Monday questioned if the State had the necessary authorisation to continue with her trial on fraud and other charges.

Barry Roux told the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court that a paragraph in the charge sheet, relating to whether the State had permission from the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) to prosecute, had been deleted.

Breytenbach and her former lawyer, Gerhard Wagenaar, are on trial on four charges of contravening the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act and two of defeating the ends of justice. Breytenbach faces two additional charges of fraud and perjury.

The NPA claimed that, in 2012, Breytenbach shred papers and wiped clean her laptop while she was still the head of the organisation's specialised commercial crimes unit in Pretoria, in violation of the NPA Act.

On Monday, the case had to be adjourned so prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa could get a certificate from the NDPP indicating he was authorised to prosecute. He could not get hold of the director and the matter was postponed to Tuesday.

The magistrate indicated that failure to produce the certificate would result in the case being dead in the water.

Outside court, Breytenbach expressed her frustration with the delays.

"I find it disconcerting that a prosecutor could come to court without the necessary certificates up front. It's a statutory requirement. To be here without knowing whether he has authority or not is somewhat disconcerting," she said.

Breytenbach said she hoped that former acting NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba and senior NPA official Lawrence Mrwebi would be called to testify.

"We would love for them to testify and I think they will liven things up for us. We think they are integral to the State's case and the State will have difficulty proving their case without them," she said.

On September 15, High Court Pretoria Judge Francis Legodi ruled that Jiba and Mrwebi be struck off the roll of advocates. The General Council of the Bar brought the application for their handling of high-profile cases, including one against former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA on April 30, 2012. She claimed this was done to stop her from prosecuting Mdluli on charges of fraud and corruption. She challenged her suspension in the Labour Court and lost.

On May 27, 2013, she was cleared of all 15 disciplinary charges the NPA had brought against her. The charges included failing to act impartially while investigating a mining rights issue involving Kumba Iron Ore, Sishen, and Imperial Crown Trading.

After a 26-year career, Breytenbach resigned from the NPA in January 2014 to join the DA. She subsequently became an MP for the party.




Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo ­jiba  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  lawrence mrwebi

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