NPA: Breytenbach's suspension not over Mdluli case

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) corruption prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach was issued with a letter of suspension on Monday, a spokesperson said, adding it had nothing to do with crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli’s fraud case.

“The charges relate to her conduct in handling one of the cases allocated to her,” Mthunzi Mhaga said.

“We will exercise restraint in commenting on this matter in view of legal implications in labour issues.”

He said all the charges would be dealt with in a disciplinary hearing.

Breytenbach heads the NPA’s specialised commercial crimes unit in Pretoria.

According to reports, she was responsible for the NPA’s arms deal probe and the fraud case against Mdluli.

Mhaga maintained there was no link between Breytenbach’s suspension and Mdluli.

“We dismiss those insinuations as baseless.”

Unanswered questions
The Democratic Alliance said on Monday that important questions relating to Breytenbach’s suspension remained unanswered.

“The suspension has been widely interpreted as intimidation of a prosecutor who insists on doing her work without fear or favour and who resisted the dropping of fraud charges against crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli,” DA Member of Parliament Dene Smuts said in a statement.

Breytenbach was issued with a notice of intention to suspend her in February.

Smuts said the DA had asked acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba during a portfolio committee on justice meeting on April 17 if the threat of suspension was not an attempt to intimidate Breytenbach and if she had been told to drop the fraud charges against Mdluli.

Jiba told the committee that there had never been any instructions or any political pressure. She also said that she did not know where the link between the Mdluli fraud case and Breytenbach’s proposed suspension came from, said Smuts.

“Establishing a clear sequence of events and the outcome of any challenge which advocate Breytenbach may bring to her suspension will hopefully bring clarity in a matter that potentially has the gravest conceivable consequences for the administration of justice,” she said.—Sapa

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