NPA commercial crimes head to face charges

2015-01-13 00:00

THE head of the specialised commercial crimes unit in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, will in April plead on three charges of obstructing justice and transgressions of the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

He appeared in the Pretoria regional court yesterday and heard his trial will be scheduled for at least three days in April.

Mrwebi had allegedly ordered advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, former prosecutor and now Democratic Alliance MP, on December 5, 2011, to withdraw charges of fraud and corruption against the suspended head of crime intelligence, Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, and Colonel Heine Barnard, despite knowing the charge sheet against them described a “strong, prima facie case”.

Mrwebi allegedly insisted the NPA stop their prosecution after Breytenbach asked in a comprehensive memorandum that he revise his order.

He also allegedly interfered with and prevented advocates Chris Smith and Breytenbach from prosecuting Mdluli and Barnard.

The state said Mrwebi had also interfered in a case involving advocate Nathi Mncube — who is now an NPA spokesperson — on May 12, 2011.

Meanwhile, the police are also busy investigating Mrwebi, with advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Sibongile Mzinyathi, for perjury.

The General Council of the Bar last year decided to apply to the court to scrap the three advocates from the roll after receiving a charge from the NPA.

Jiba is the deputy head of the NPA, Mrwebi is the national head of the spesialised commercial crimes unit and Mzinyathi is the director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng.

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