Breytenbach charges nothing but witch-hunt to distract from Jiba review‚ says DA
The charges being brought by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against its former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach are nothing but a witch-hunt to distract attention from the Jiba review‚ the Democratic Alliance charged on Sunday.
Breytenbach‚ now a DA MP‚ and her lawyer are due to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of obstruction and defeating the ends of justice‚ the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
Spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the hearing relates to an NPA investigation in 2012 in which Ms Breytenbach was investigated for misconduct.
The NPA claims she allegedly shredded relevant papers and wiped clean her laptop while she was still the head of the organisation’s specialised commercial crimes unit.
DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said it was “indeed instructive” that the charges against Breytenbach had been laid at the same time as the DA’s court action against the sitting deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP)‚ Nomgcobo Jiba.
The DA is in the midst of a review application requesting the Western Cape High Court to set aside President Jacob Zuma’s decision not to suspend and order a Commission of Inquiry into Ms Jiba‚ despite many calls to do so by the former NDPP‚ Mxolisi Nxasana.
Selfe referred to the charges against Breytenbach as “trumped up” and accused the ANC‚ in chorus with the NPA‚ of “once again using this as a cheap political gimmick to mask its own record of dealing with its own questionable characters”.
He was alluding to a statement by the ANC welcoming the NPA decision to prefer charges against Breytenbach‚ saying it indicated she had a case to answer for. The party also called for the DA to remove Breytenbach.
“If the ANC is serious about Adv Breytenbach it must walk the talk and take swift action against those in their own ranks who have their own transgressions being probed by various investigative bodies. Specifically‚ Bongi Mkongi‚ Truman Prince‚ Mohapi Mohapi and Mandla Mandela.
“The charges for which Adv Breytenbach stands accused were thoroughly traversed in disciplinary hearings against her and all resulted in her acquittal.
“Now‚ years after the fact‚ the NPA wants to revive matters that have already been dealt with. This is on the back of President’s Zuma’s capitulation in the Nkandla Constitutional Court matter on Tuesday this week and the al-Bashir saga before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday‚” Selfe asserted.
He added that “for too long the President and the ANC in government had been knocking on the doors of the Judiciary in an effort to bend the courts to their undue political whims to no avail from the Judiciary”.
“The ANC and the NPA know that the DA has a strong case against Jiba and knowing the Judiciary’s commitment to the Rule of Law will be unfettered by undue political considerations; the NPA is panicking in a thinly veiled move to distract the nation from an NPA boss who is wholly unfit to hold office.
“The DA regards the charges against Adv Breytenbach as trumped up. We also regard her as innocent until proven guilty and stand by her‚” Selfe stated.