Breytenbach: NPA changes tack

2012-08-16 10:34

In a dramatic turn of events, the National Prosecuting Authority has this morning announced that it will apply for a new chairperson to be appointed to the disciplinary hearing of senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.

This is the second time the NPA will attempt to change the chair of Breytenbach’s hearing and comes after eight full days of testimony in the hearing.

The announcement was made just a few hours before lawyer Ronnie Mendelow was due to be
cross-examined by Advocate Wim Trengove SC, representing Breytenbach.

After a closed meeting between counsel, Advocate William Mokhari, the lead prosecutor for the NPA, said that “an application will be brought for the appointment of a new chairperson”.

Mokhari did not give a reason why this application would be brought, but City Press understands that the reason for it was related to the fact that the chairperson, attorney Sandile July, had once been briefed in relation to the mining rights dispute between Kumba and Imperial Crown Trading.

Five charges against Breytenbach relate to alleged improper conduct in her investigation of a criminal complaint by Kumba against ICT.

Much of Mendelow’s testimony this week has been a strong criticism of Breytenbach and her alleged misconduct in the investigation.

City Press was forced to obtain a court order compelling the NPA to allow the media access to the hearing.
 The hearing’s former chairperson Advocate Barry Madolo was replaced after he made a ruling granting the media access to report on proceedings.

Breytenbach has maintained that disciplinary charges against her were an attempt to protect former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Breytenbach will oppose the application tomorrow, while Mendelow continues to testify today.

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