Breytenbach wants media at hearing

2012-07-20 19:25

Pretoria - Suspended senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach has supported applications by the print and broadcast media for access to her disciplinary hearing.

Media 24, Avusa Media and M-Net launched an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday for access to Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing, which is set to resume on Monday.

It was brought after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided that the media would not even be allowed inside its building, let alone into Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing.

This, despite a ruling by disciplinary hearing chairperson Barry Madolo, allowing the print media access.

The NPA said Madolo, who has since recused himself from the hearing, had no authority to make such a decision and that the decision was "irrational".

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is opposing the application on the grounds that disciplinary hearings are private affairs and that the presence of the media might intimidate witnesses.

At the same time, the NDPP launched an urgent application to review and set aside Madolo's decision.

Counsel for Media 24, Anthony Stein, argued that the media had a right to access the hearing on the basis of the chairperson's ruling and an undertaking by the state attorney that the NPA would abide by this ruling until it was set aside.

The NPA, in turn, claimed that the senior state attorney who gave the undertaking had acted without instructions.

Stein argued that hearing raised issues of critical public and constitutional importance.

He said the issues had already received wide media coverage and had given rise to a substantial amount of speculation regarding the underlying reasons for the disciplinary charges.

As such, the public had a right to know and understand the manner in which the NPA and the defence dealt with these issues, he said.

Breytenbach herself accepted that there was a public interest in allowing the media access to the proceedings, said Stein.

Counsel for M-Net, Kate Hofmeyr, said the credibility of the NPA was an issue of grave public concern at the moment.

She said closing the doors to the public would only raise speculation about the credibility of the NPA.

Judge Ronel Tolmay is expected to hand down judgment at 08:30 on Monday.

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

She submitted in papers before the Labour Court in Johannesburg 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.

The NPA has denied her claims, insisting that Breytenbach was suspended because of alleged misconduct in a mining rights case and interference in investigations relating to her conduct.

The Labour Court earlier this week turned down Breytenbach's application to have her suspension overturned.

  • Seena - 2012-07-20 20:23

    the media has become news creators not news reporters they have been corporatised...coporate tendencies abound.....

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-21 07:38

      i just love all these ANC media bashers... (seena, I know u r an ANC member because you have no mind of your own, u sign the party tune).. they love to make these 'generalized' statements about the media. how about looking at the facts seena.. why dont u do some research and see how many anc corruption stories reported by the media are 1) proven fact 2) proven false 3) undetermined because the ruling party are too scared to investigate them. give me concrete numbers and then i'll consider your arm waving airy fairy rhetoric.

      Zimkhitha Mbutho Moloi - 2013-06-21 14:49

      That is true!

  • Nukki - 2012-07-20 20:23

    we want to know the TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-21 02:16

    This woman's got guts in a predominantly male dominated sector. I support her all the way. Go for it Breytie. In with the media.

  • osama.pascal - 2012-07-21 05:11


  • charnelle.bester - 2012-07-21 08:07

    Why can the media not be involved?? This causes speculation!

  • morne.demeillon - 2012-07-21 08:25

    Thank you Glynnis, the public also wants to know the truth. All of the best too you and open that rotten can of worms, so that the public can see how rotten NPA is of corruption.

  • wayne.babb1 - 2012-07-21 16:45

    And another prosecutor suspended in KZN. This time Comrade/cANCer friend Savoi relates. Not PROSECUTE but PROTECT

  • pages:
  • 1