Breytenbach's boss denies defending Mdluli

Lawrence Mrwebi denies allegations that he protected Richard Mdluli from prosecution.

Suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Mandy Wiener/EWN

SILVERTON - The head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, Lawrence Mrwebi, on Friday said allegations that he withdrew charges against policeman Richard Mdluli in order to protect him were "hogwash, insulting to his intelligence and disrespectful".

Mgwebi testified at the disciplinary hearing of suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach in Silverton, Pretoria.

The senior prosecutor insists she was sidelined by Mrwebi and the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba in order to stop her from prosecuting Mdluli.

Breytenbach was suspended in 2012 for her handling of a mining rights case.

But Mrwebi said nobody ever gave Breytenbach an instruction to withdraw charges against Mdluli in order to protect him.

"Nobody stopped or said advocate Breytenbach should stop prosecuting Mdluli."

He said the decision to provisionally withdrawn fraud charges was taken with Breytenbach because the case needed to be strengthened.

Mrwebi said he was insulted when the Inspector General of Intelligence, Advocate Faith Radebe, told him to reinstate charges.

"We had decided on the matter and how it should proceed. Then I was hounded by a report from the inspector general and threats from the media and so on."

He even suggested he felt threatened by Breytenbach's insistence that his decision was irrational.