Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Court throws out Breytenbach’s bid to get her old NPA job back

"The application was dismissed," Breytenbach said after proceedings on Friday. She declined to comment further.

Earlier in July, Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker heard arguments from lawyers representing the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Breytenbach.

Andrew Redding SC, for Breytenbach, submitted that her new job was not the same as the one she had before her suspension in April 2012 for a disciplinary hearing on 15 charges, all of which were dismissed in May.

The charges included failing to act impartially while investigating the Kumba/Iron Ore/Sishen and Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) mining rights issue.

"The position to which she has been transferred is in no way the equivalent of the position she used to hold," said Redding.

Redding described the NPA's conduct since Breytenbach's suspension as unusual.

"What began as an investigation into her conduct blew up into … a federal case against her," he told the court.

'Witch-hunt'
Redding contended that the prosecuting authority had done all it could to prevent her returning to her position from the day on which the NPA levelled allegations against her.

Redding claimed the NPA still considered Breytenbach as suspended. He said this was based on letters between her lawyer and the NPA after she was cleared, at a disciplinary hearing, of all 15 charges against her on May 27.

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".

"Investigating more charges against me smacks of a witchhunt, where [the NPA] appears willing to do anything to prevent me from going back to my post and prosecutions I was handling," Breytenbach reportedly said in an affidavit in June.

The NPA wanted to place Breytenbach on special leave pending a review of the disciplinary hearing's findings. At a meeting held on Breytenbach's return to work, she was told there were allegations of misconduct against her.

"[The NPA] … is doing all it can do to prevent Ms Breytenbach from getting her hands on the docket of … [former police crime intelligence head Richard] Mdluli," Redding said.

Breytenbach brought an urgent application to get her job back as regional head of the NPA's specialised commercial crime unit in Pretoria.

Crime probe stalled
Since Breytenbach was first suspended, she has maintained that the NPA's acting head, advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, and Breytenbach's immediate boss, advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, have gone to extreme lengths to ensure she cannot go after suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

Prior to her suspension, Breytenbach was pursuing the fraud and corruption case against Mdluli.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

ANC confirms it will oppose Magashule’s court application

The ruling party has briefed senior counsel Wim Trengove to head the team that will contest Magashule’s bid to fight his suspension and oust Ramaphosa instead

Magashule defies suspension order and KZN leaders’ advice that he...

A strategy by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC to control the narrative coming out of former president Zuma’s court appearance for arms deal corruption and fraud was thwarted

Landmark Deadly Air case: 10 000 deaths annually can be...

There is no legal mechanism in place to implement and enforce measures to prevent toxic air pollution in the Highveld

No masks. No Covid. But problems do abound

With no cases of Covid-19, a Zimbabwe informal settlement’s residents are more concerned about making ends meet – and their imminent eviction
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×