NPA says no to media at Breytenbach hearing

2012-07-04 22:32

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will not allow the media access to senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing, according to a report on Wednesday.

The NPA has apparently replaced Advocate Barry Madolo as chair of the hearing, the City Press reported on its website.

The newspaper's lawyers received a letter from state attorney Kenny Phuroe saying that Madolo had "no jurisdiction" to grant the media access to the hearing, which resumes on 23 July.

Phuroe said in the letter that Madolo's ruling was "contradictory, patently wrong, unenforceable and irrational".

As such, the media would not be allowed on the NPA's premises on the day of the hearing.

Last week Breytenbach's lawyer, Gerhard Wagenaar, told Sapa that the matter would be open to the media, but restrictions could arise "if confidential matters arose during proceedings".

NPA head of communications Bulelwa Makeka said the authority would seek legal advice from the State Attorney on whether it could challenge Madolo's ruling.

Media24 brought the application for access as it believed the matter of the hearing was in the public interest.

The group's head of newspapers said on Wednesday that the NPA's decision will be challenged in court.

The disciplinary hearing of senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenach was in the public interest and the media should be granted access to it, Tim du Plessis said.

"We will approach the High Court to overturn the decision."

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

She has submitted in papers before the Labour Court 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.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-07-04 22:39

    where on earth have you ever heard a disciplinary hearing between the employer and employee attended by the media??She thinks she is the best thing that ever happened to Msantsi

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-04 22:51

      I tell you when you hear of a disciplinary hearing being attended by the media. When there is great public interest due to the possibility of this being to protect some politically connected person AND when the people involved salaries are being paid for by the public!

      tumisang.kolobe - 2012-07-04 23:00

      She has been charged for private issues and this have nothing to do with the public...since when does the media have an interest on what my employers charges me with, the conditions of employment are signed between me and the employer and therefore cannot be publicm this are Human Resource issues and have nothing to do with the Media

      holden.gardnercaulfield - 2012-07-05 05:47

      The NPA is not an ordinary employer and Breytenbach is not an ordinary employee. The NPA exercises a hugely important public power and the exercise of state might: the power to institute criminal proceedings and litigate against accused persons using a bottomless war chest insofar as finances and resources are concerned, and Breytenbach acts pursuant to those powers. If there was any objection then is should have come from Breytenbach. What possible embarrassment could there be to the NPA?

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-07-05 07:09

      Have you forgotten that the NPA is our employee and that we have the right to know what our employee is doing?

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-05 08:32

      got something to hide NPA?

  • carl.debeer.33 - 2012-07-04 22:57

    What makes this hearing so different to any other hearing that has been attended by the Media in the past? Breytenbach knows too much...Put them in their place Glynnis! Bunch of cowards, all walking with their tails between their legs. The truth hurts....

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-07-05 00:08

    Why not??? Something smells like a dead rat.......

      Mark McDonogh - 2012-07-05 06:08

      Do not fret yourselves whether black or white, Asian or colored! If the issue was just a dead rat it would be a minor issue. The issue is so abominable because the real issue is that this situation is a spiritual issue called spiritual death called SIN -- offense against God. And God has said that "Your sin will find you out" stop fretting! God will Expose all concerned. That you can be certain of. Sit back and just watch and rather pray.

  • margaret.brand.12 - 2012-07-05 01:34

    What is the NPA scared of...what dont they want the public to hear? Her suspension was put out to the media so why can't the case go before the media

  • danie.smit.587 - 2012-07-05 03:28

    How is that, if my diciplinary commision found my employee not quilty, I simply replace the disciplinary commitee, and still fire my employee. The NPA reasoning would make life easy for us employers in SA. Or are they just plain stupid? All the supporters , ask yourself, if you employer do this,to you, do you think you could receive a fair hearing?

  • piet.boerie - 2012-07-05 05:37

    HMMM I see the cadres on this blog are more than happy to sweep the dirt under the mat. Hey Kolobe the carpet is full there is no more know likes dead bodies, tender corruption, arms deal corruption, books, cars.... How can you defend this corruption? Easily as your government cadre job allows it. What was the struggle for if we throw away transparency?

      phillys.winterbottom - 2012-07-05 08:57

      Piet, if you want to see what summs up Kolobe-troll, go to its web site: "people who inspire him" : "Karl Marx" !!!! that tells me all I need to know!!

  • sizwe.bwana - 2012-07-05 05:57

    If it has to be secret it is to protect the criminals from further embarrassing the powers that be.

  • B.b. - 2012-07-05 06:08

    This is South Africa, we take decisions together. You don't behave as a sole trader. The guy has betrayed the NPA, that is why they hv decided to sideline him. First of all, the media know that there is a disciplinary hearing and they will be informed of the outcome, so, why waste your money and time going to court, instead of waiting? Sometimes we fight for nothing. This is a simple thing. I don't want the media to be denied access, but one must respect the decision taken out unanimously. Breytenbach must not fight for the media access, but for what she thinks is good i.e., she must present the facts on why she wants to keep here position and investigate her intended corruption cases, then we'll start believing in her,,,Don't worry about media, we don't vote for it to represent the public, but pay for it to give us interesting stories (whether they are all true or lies, we don't care). Hopefully, this case will continue and let her stay and continue investigating on corruption charges if there is sound evidence...

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-05 07:05

    While my children keep the wheels of this country turning, the lawyers footle.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-07-05 07:07

    Disciplinary hearings are supposed to be fair to all parties concerned and the process should be transparent. The person chairing the proceedings should be independent and impartial. The person charged has the right to nominate anyone he/she wishes to represent/ assist / attend / observe. If Glynnis wants the media there, they must be there. Otherwise the hearing can not be considered fair and the outcome can not be accepted.

  • badballie - 2012-07-05 10:07

    Breytenbach is perfectly and legally entitled to not only tape the proceedings she is also fully entitled to give the media a full transcript of the proceeding once the case is closed. The NPA does not have any right to prevent it by or under any valid law.

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-05 12:45

    What precisely are the charges against Breytenbach by the NPA? Could someone please refresh my memory? As someone who lived through the apartheid years where only selective information was disseminated and anything which might hint at wrongdoing by the State brutally silenced there is a danger that excluding the media which represents you and I no matter how seemingly unimportant the case may seem, is that this is how so many people were silenced, held with no recourse to legal redress and even killed. It only takes a small spark of this nature to ignite a possibly necessary conflagration. The NPA gets away with this and next time there is a precedent and thus it happens that the people remain ignorant of the corruption of those who should be incorruptible and without blemish - the State ad the judiciary then become complicit in crimes against me and you the general voting and taxpaying public. 50 years later when these crimes are uncovered and we the public are accused of complicity in hate crimes and murders because the very organs which should have protected us and prevented the atrocities from occuring claim ignorance the other side will not believe us. No matter how low the media standards may have sunk they are under South African law the only representatives who can allow us the people to decide whether the state and judiciary are in fact perverting the course of justice. When you stand silent in the knowledge of a crime you become an accessory to it. Hence the media.

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-05 13:04

    I suppose tumisang that see no evil hear no evil speak no evil is your motto and mechanism of denial when injustice has been done by someone you perceive to be the authority. By closing your eyes and ears and refusing to speak out about a rape you can go about your day saying it didn't happen when in reality it did. One of the things that Human Rights neglects to speak of is accepting your responsibility in a great wrong done to someone by a person who happens to be a friend of yours. It is what is wrong with every aspect of our current govt. They happily take the praise when things do go right but are unwilling to accept reponsibility for the role they played when something goes horribly wrong as in the Limpopo service delivery issue. Not only that they refuse to accept help or advice from opponents/independent bodies in rectifying the problem. They see challenges from other parties with more experience as an infringement on their person and refuse to listen. Even in African culture one does not place the least educated and experienced persons in charge of nation building works such as education and health and crime. But the ANC does this all the time. It is tantamount to putting first graders in charge of the school and teachers. When things go wrong because of factors such as greed or ignorance one has to accept that we, the more experienced asked too much of first graders to start with and still allow them to continue spending money and making laws for us the elders.

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