‘Breytenbach postponement aids NPA’s protection of Mdluli’

2012-07-23 12:47

As long as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) postpones senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing it is succeeding in its “unlawful purpose of protecting” former police spy boss Richard Mdluli from prosecution.

Wim Trengove, the senior counsel representing Breytenbach at her disciplinary hearing, argued this in “strenuously” opposing a further postponement of the hearing today. He said the NPA was attempting to delay the implementation of an earlier court order.

Trengove was referring to an order handed down by Judge Ronel Tolmay earlier today, which granted the media access to the proceedings.

Breytenbach faces charges related to her alleged misconduct in the Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore and ICT mining rights dispute.

But Breytenbach claims that she was removed from office to protect Mdluli from prosecution.

William Mokhari, leading evidence for the NPA in the hearing, said fairness required that the NPA be allowed to study the judgment and decide if it would appeal.

He said this was necessary because a written version of the judgment would only be available tomorrow.

Mokhari said Breytenbach would not suffer any prejudice if the matter was postponed for two days.

But Trengove opposed a postponement, saying a further attempt to “discipline Breytenbach behind closed doors should be resisted”.

He said that the NPA was attempting to delay the implementation of the judgment and that this was infringing on Breytenbach’s rights and costing her money.

“Why should she pay a huge amount of money for the NPA to decide if it wants to obey a court order?” he asked.

Sandile July, the newly appointed chairperson of the hearing, said he was “mindful of the fact that I am bound by the court order if these proceedings go ahead”.

The hearing was this afternoon postponed until tomorrow. The NPA may still appeal but the media would be allowed to attend proceedings in the meantime.

» This article was updated after first published to add details of the postponement.

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