Breytenbach finding welcomed

2013-05-28 13:48
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) welcomed a ruling made by a disciplinary hearing in favour of suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, in a statement on Tuesday.

"The CFCR welcomes the ruling by a National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] disciplinary hearing, which cleared senior prosecutor, Adv[ocate] Glynnis Breytenbach, of any wrongdoing," centre director Johan Kruger said.

He questioned why the NPA pursued a disciplinary case against Breytenbach when there was no evidence.

Kruger said that if the NPA and the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) "end up favouring and fearing politicians instead of the law", the criminal justice system would fail to function without prejudice.

"This would leave those who should be criminally charged going free and those who question the former, being persecuted - possibly without an iota of evidence," he said.

"The rationality, legality, and constitutionality of the NPA's conduct - its ability to fulfil its constitutional duty without fear, favour, or prejudice - are up for review in a number of matters."

Not guilty

Breytenbach was found not guilty on 15 counts on Monday by a disciplinary hearing, which sat at the NPA's head office in Pretoria.

"The guilt of the employee on this plethora of charges has not been established," said the hearing's chairperson Advocate Selby Mbenenge.

Breytenbach was also found not guilty on any of the alternative charges.

A core charge against the anti-graft prosecutor was failing to act impartially when investigating the Kumba Iron Ore/Sishen and Imperial Crown Trading mining rights issue, because of "improper relations" with Sishen's lawyer Mike Hellens.

Other charges included "surreptitiously leaking" NPA inside information to Beeld journalist Sonja Carstens; giving her official NPA laptop to her lawyer; and "maligning" the NPA in the media.

Breytenbach was suspended from the NPA on 30 April 2012.

She claimed acting NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her to stop her from prosecuting former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.

In March, a parallel arbitration hearing at the Public Service Bargaining Council, in Centurion, found Breytenbach's suspension was both procedurally and substantively fair.

Read more on:    npa  |  ndpp  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  richard mdluli  |  johannesburg

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