Suspended NPA prosecutor back in court
An application by suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach challenging her suspension by the NPA should be an urgent matter, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.
"A suspension is the industrial equivalent of an arrest.... The matter is urgent on the basis that someone's dignity is involved," Andrew Redding, for Breytenbach, argued.
"The publicity in the press has had a negative effect on my client's reputation.... It has been nationally reported on because a prosecutor is involved; the entire society is interested and [has] begun to form an image of my client."
Judge Hamilton Cele asked Redding if the matter was urgent, because Breytenbach did not file the papers immediately after her suspension.
"My client hoped that the proceedings would be dealt with in 60 days... Perhaps she hoped it would," Redding responded.
He argued that Breytenbach found out through the media that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had suspended her.
She was suspended as the regional head of the specialised commercial crime unit on April 30, for conduct relating to cases allocated to her, the NPA said at the time.
In court documents submitted earlier, Breytenbach submitted that the NPA had "ulterior motives" when it suspended her.
She believed acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba suspended her in an attempt to protect former crime intelligence head Lt-Gen Richard Mdluli.
The NPA has denied this and has accused her of improper conduct, because she accused her employer of, among other things, fraud when she filed her urgent application in the Labour Court.
On June 19, Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing was postponed to July 23.
The application continues.