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Breytenbach DC: NPA boss acted ‘unlawfully’

The NPA’s decision to drop charges against Richard Mdluli has been labelled as 'unilateral and unlawful'.

The NPA’s head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, Lawrence Mrwebi, is seen outside the high court in Johannesburg on 4 May 2010. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

SILVERTON - The head of the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit's decision to withdraw charges against policeman Richard Mdluli was on Tuesday labelled as "unilateral and unlawful".

Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi was grilled by prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's advocate during her disciplinary hearing.

Breytenbach was suspended in April last year, apparently because of a complaint relating to a multibillion rand mining rights case.

But she claims it was to stop her from prosecuting the former crime intelligence head.

Breytenbach's advocate, Wim Trengove accused Mrwebi of failing to consult, ignoring opinion and unilaterally choosing to withdraw charges against Mdluli in December 2011.

Trengove accused Mrwebi of doing that in an attempt to protect the policeman.

"You took your decision to protect general Mdluli come-what-may, correct?"

To which Mrwebi responded, "That is nonsensical… why should I protect general Mdluli?"

It was also claimed Mrwebi used a glossed up, far-fetched, wild complaint against Breytenbach in the Sishen mining rights case to try and nail her following their clash over the Mdluli decision.

It was alleged Breytenbach lacked impartiality during the case.

Mrwebi has told the disciplinary hearing that he and Breytenbach made the decision to withdraw charges against Mdluli together, so that they could strengthen the fraud case against him.

Mrwebi's cross-examination will continue on Wednesday.

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