NPA to challenge Breytenbach media access ruling

The NPA says the judge ought to have known there was no legal basis to grant media access.

Suspended National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach is seen ahead of her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria on Wednesday 25, July 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

PRETORIA - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday confirmed it will appeal the decision allowing the media to attend suspended advocate Glynnis Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing.

Legal papers were served on the City Press newspaper and its lawyers.

Breytenbach is accused of improper conduct for her handling of a mining rights case involving Kumba Iron Ore and Imperial Crown Trading.

But the senior prosecutor maintains she was suspended to stop her from prosecuting former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

The NPA said Judge Ronel Tolmay erred in her finding that barring the media from the Breytenbach hearing would amount to a breach of the constitutional mandate to transparency.

It further believes the judge ought to have known there was no legal basis to grant the media access to the hearing.

This was the latest in a series of controversies to hit the case.

Earlier in the matter, hearing chairperson Advocate Barry Modolo was removed and replaced by Sandile July.

The NPA asked July to recuse himself two weeks ago.

July was shocked at the way the prosecuting body was conducting the hearing.

NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke said they will only comment on this matter once the papers were filed in court.