DA: Breytenbach’s move from NPA HQ ‘deserves an explanation’

The National Prosecution Authority's choice to move prosecutor Breytenbach from its headquarters to the office of the director of public prosecutions "deserves an explanation", the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

"While we are not privy to the reasons for this move, it most certainly demands an explanation," said spokesperson Debbie Schafer.

"If there was insufficient evidence to find her guilty of the charges she was facing, for what possible reason would she have been moved?"

According to SABC radio news, Breytenbach had been informed that she would be redeployed to the office of the director of public prosecutions in Pretoria and would no longer be working at the Specialised Crime Unit (SCU).

On Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that it had filed an application for the Labour Court to review the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which cleared Breytenbach of all charges against her.

On May 27, Breytenbach was found not guilty on 15 counts by a disciplinary hearing, which sat at the NPA's head office in Pretoria.

'Improper relations'
One of the charges was that she failed to act impartially when investigating the Kumba Iron Ore/Sishen and Imperial Crown Trading mining rights dispute, because of "improper relations" with Sishen's lawyer Mike Hellens.

After the findings at the disciplinary hearing were made known, the NPA said it found them "factually incorrect and legally unsustainable" and would approach the court for a review.

On Wednesday, NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke, said in response to a question, that Breytenbach was at work but that the NPA would not discuss work matters in the media.

Schafer said she would ask Parliament's justice portfolio committee chairperson Luwellyn Landers to request the NPA to appear before the committee to explain the reasons for moving Breytenbach.


"The credibility of the NPA demands that answers be given in a public forum," said Schafer. – Sapa

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