NPA court action a contradiction of Jiba’s word – Breytenbach

2013-05-29 17:13

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Senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s lawyer has accused the National Prosecuting Authority of going back on the word of its acting boss Nomgcobo Jiba.

On Monday, Breytenbach was cleared by her NPA disciplinary hearing of all 15 charges against her.

The NPA has since announced that it will turn to court in an effort have Breytenbach found guilty – a move which appears to be a direct contradiction of a sworn statement by acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba.

In a letter sent today to state attorneys representing the NPA, Breytenbach’s lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar reminded them that Jiba had previously promised that Breytenbach would be allowed to return to work if found not guilty by her disciplinary hearing.

Wagenaar made reference to an affidavit which was filed by Jiba in June last year, when Breytenbach was attempting to challenge her suspension in the Labour Court.

“We wish to remind you and your client of the remark made by Adv Nomgcobo Jiba under oath in her answering affidavit in the labour court: ‘If (Breytenbach) is found not guilty it will be the end of the matter, and (Breytenbach) would then be entitled to resume her duties in the capacity in which she has been employed’.”

Wagenaar also said that, given the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, “there can be no further credible argument to be made that our client (Breytenbach) is still under suspension.”

Wagenaar said there was no lawful reason why Breytenbach should not be allowed to return to work, something he said she was “eager” to do.

In the letter he also asked the attorneys when Breytenbach’s office keys and access cards would be returned to her.

In a press release yesterday, the NPA said that the findings of disciplinary chairperson Selby Mbenenge had “serious implications on the enforcement of discipline in the NPA and will elevate insubordination, disobedience and unethical conduct into acceptable practice in the workplace”.

It was for this reason, said the NPA, that it was approaching a court to have the findings reviewed and set aside.

Breytenbach has maintained throughout her disciplinary that she was suspended by the NPA in order to protect suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli from prosecution.

In June last year, City Press reported that Mdluli had been responsible for saving Jiba’s career.

In 2008, when Jiba was fighting her own suspension from the NPA, Mdluli signed an affidavit in support of Jiba’s case.

Attached to the affidavit were transcripts of an intercepted conversation between Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and the unit’s head of investigations, Thanda Mngwengwe, in an attempt to show there was a conspiracy against Jiba.

Mdluli claimed these transcripts came from another police officer.

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