Lawyer: Breytenbach's rights violated

2013-07-02 12:45
Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) violated the constitutional and labour rights of prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Tuesday.

Breytenbach’s lawyer Andrew Ridding said the NPA acted outside the law by not reinstating Breytenbach to her position.

"It is a constitutional violation. It is a breach of constitutional imperative. Secondly, it is a breach of her employment contract. By transferring her to a position which is not the same as the one she held before, her contract of employment has been breached," said Ridding.

It was clear the NPA had not restored Breytenbach to her job to keep her from dealing with a particular case, he said.

Breytenbach is making an urgent application to be given back her old job as regional head of the NPA's specialised commercial crime unit in Pretoria.

Disciplinary hearing

In April 2012 Breytenbach was suspended and later faced a lengthy disciplinary hearing on 15 charges. These included that she had not acted impartially when investigating a mining rights dispute involving Kumba Iron Ore, Kumba's Sishen mine in the Northern Cape, and Imperial Crown Trading. She was accused of "improper relations" with Sishen’s lawyer Mike Hellens.

On 27 May a NPA disciplinary hearing cleared her of all charges. The following day, the NPA announced it would bring a court challenge against the ruling because it considered the findings "factually incorrect and legally unsustainable".

Breytenbach was allowed to return to work, but after her return she found the NPA intended sending her to a different office.

She claimed that her suspension was related to her opposition to a decision to withdraw fraud and corruption charges against police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Read more on:    npa  |  glynnis breytenbach

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