ANC, SACP welcome decision to prosecute Breytenbach
The ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) have welcomed the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Glynnis Breytenbach.
The parties said the decision indicated that she had a case to answer for.
"Breytenbach has been under a cloud since her time at the NPA and as matters stands, she now has a case to answer in Court regarding her alleged misconduct while at the NPA," ANC Parliamentary Chief Whip spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
"As the authority with autonomous powers to decide whether to prosecute or not on the basis of the strength of evidence before it, it is improbable that the NPA would take such a decision against Breytenbach lightly."
On Friday the NPA said Breytenbach and her lawyer would appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of obstruction and defeating ends of justice. The hearing related to an NPA investigation in 2012 in which Breytenbach was investigated for misconduct.
The NPA claimed Breytenbach allegedly shredded relevant papers and wiped clean her laptop while she was still the head of the organisation's specialised commercial crimes unit.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24 that Breytenbach and her lawyer Gerhard Wagenaar refused to hand over her laptop, which was believed to contain evidence related to the case. She then wiped her official laptop and shredded vital information connected to the investigation.
Mothapo dismissed claims that the decision to charge her was politically motivated. He said there was no smoke without fire and the party and Breytenbach should use the case as an opportunity to clear her name.
"The NPA is an independent institution and it determines its decisions solely on the basis of sound evidence before it and the probability of successful prosecution, not petty political considerations.
"Having been under a cloud for some time now, Breytenbach, along with her party, should welcome the charges as a valuable opportunity to clear her name before a neutral Court if she is not guilty as she claims. The law must be allowed to take its course. No one, Breytenbach included, is above the law," he said.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said Breytenbach has a lot to answer for about her behaviour whilst she was in the NPA.
"It is time that Glynnis Breytenbach is held accountable, now that the NPA is satisfied with its assessment of the case," said Mashilo.
While the ANC called on the DA to remove Breytenbach, they have their own battles with an embattled Western Cape leadership. Its Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs currently has a case before the courts. He has been accused of assaulting researcher Wesley Seale for failing to write an organisational report.
ANC chairperson Marius Fransman has also been accused of sexual harassment. A woman laid a charge against him in the week leading to the January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg.
PEC member Andile Lili was arrested and later released on bail for being in contempt of court.