Timeline: Glynnis Breytenbach vs NPA

July 27 2011: The Hawks conduct a major search-and-seizure raid on Imperial Crown Trading’s office, and the department of mineral resources, in Kimberley. (ICT is fighting Kumba Iron Ore for a lucrative mining stake at the Sishen Iron Ore mine in the Northern Cape. Allegations are made the ICT acted fraudulently in obtaining the mineral rights for this stake. The case will play out for years in court.)

October 31 2011: Ronnie Mendelow, ICT’s attorney, lays a complaint against Glynnis Breytenbach with the national director of public prosecutions. He alleges she helped Kumba with its legal challenge in the mineral rights dispute.

November 2011: Breytenbach is placed in charge of the fraud and corruption case involving former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

November 17 2011: Mdluli’s attorneys hand written representations to advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, in his capacity as special director of public prosecutions and national head of the specialised commercial crime unit, asking for the fraud and corruption charges to be withdrawn against Mdluli.

November 21 2011: Mrwebi forwards the representations to Breytenbach as a memorandum and asks for a full report on the matter by November 25.

November 22 2011: A report is prepared for Mrwebi, refuting the allegations on which Mdluli’s representations were based. The report recommends that Mdluli’s prosecution continue.

November 24 2011: The report is forwarded to Mrwebi and North Gauteng prosecutions head advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi.

November 25 2011: Mrwebi is appointed as the national head of the specialized commercial crimes unit.

November 25 2011: Breytenbach withdraws from the ICT case after a meeting with the NPA’s acting chief executive, advocate Karen van Rensburg, at which she is told there had been a complaint laid against her.

November 28 2011: Mrwebi sends a memo to Mzinyathi and Breytenbach in which he says he is dissatisfied with the report. He therefore asks for a copy of Mdluli’s entire docket by December 2.


November 30 2011: The second report and an electronic copy of Mdluli’s docket is sent to Mrwebi.

December 4 2011: Breytenbach receives two memos from Mrwebi, in which he instructed that the fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli “must be withdrawn immediately”.

December 8 2011: Advocate Mzinyathi tells Breytenbach that after reading the police docket he was of the opinion that there was a prima facie case against Mdluli.

December 8 2011: The Inspector General of Intelligence’s legal advisor says the IGI did not have any mandate to undertake criminal investigations.

December 9 2011: Mzinyathi and Breytenbach meet with Mrwebi, who refuses to reconsider his decision. Mzinyathi and Breytenbach also discoverthat Mrwebi had already informed Mdluli’s legal team of his decision to withdraw charges against him.

December 14 2011: The fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli are provisionally withdrawn.

February 1 2012: NPA notifies Breytenbach of her impending suspension. She makes representations against this and argues that Mdluli must be recharged.

March 27 2012: Mdluli is reinstated as Crime Intelligence boss.

April 30 2012: Breytenbach is suspended.

She challenges the legality of the suspension in the Labour court and loses.

In representations, she reveals meddling in the Mdluli investigation.

July 24 2012: It is revealed that the NPA has laid criminal charges against Breytenbach relating to allegedly tampering with "evidence" against her, contained on her laptop.

August 17 2012: The NPA announces it will remove the chairperson of Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing. A new chairperson is appointed and the hearing goes ahead.

May 27 2013: Breytenbach is cleared of all 15 charges against her. She vows to get back to work on all of her cases, if the NPA allows her to.

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