Breytenbach hearing in the ‘public interest’

2012-07-05 06:48

The disciplinary hearing of senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenach was in the public interest and the media should be granted access to it, said Media24’s head of Afrikaans newspapers, Tim du Plessis.

“We will approach the High Court to overturn the decision,” said Du Plessis.

Yesterday, City Press reported on its website that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would not allow the media access to Breytenach’s disciplinary hearing.

The NPA has apparently replaced Advocate Barry Madolo as chair of the hearing.

The newspaper’s lawyers received a letter from state attorney Kenny Phuroe saying that Madolo had “no jurisdiction” to grant the media access to the hearing, which resumes on July 23.

Phuroe said in the letter that Madolo’s ruling was “contradictory, patently wrong, unenforceable and irrational”.

As such, the media would not be allowed on the NPA’s premises on the day of the hearing.

Last week Breytenbach’s lawyer, Gerhard Wagenaar, told Sapa the matter would be open to the media, but restrictions could arise “if confidential matters arose during proceedings”.

NPA head of communications Bulelwa Makeka said the authority would seek legal advice from the State Attorney on whether it could challenge Madolo’s ruling.

Media24 brought the application for access as it believed the matter of the hearing was in the public interest.

Breytenbach was suspended on April 30 for conduct related to cases allocated to her.

She has submitted in papers before the Labour Court that she was suspended as regional head of the specialised commercial crime unit because she insisted on investigating fraud and corruption charges against former police intelligence head, Lieutenant general Richard Mdluli.

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