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Breytenbach slams NPA's 'preposterous' decision

Glynnis Breytenbach says withdrawing fraud charges against policeman Richard Mdluli was preposterous.

Glynnis Breytenbach says withdrawing fraud charges against policeman Richard Mdluli was preposterous. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

SILVERTON - NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach on Thursday said Richard Mdluli, the former head of the police's crime intelligence unit, had a prima facie case to answer to and that withdrawing charges against him was "preposterous."

Breytenbach has been giving evidence in her disciplinary hearing at the National Prosecuting Authority's offices in Silverton, Pretoria.

She was suspended in April 2012 for her handling of a mining rights case between mines Imperial Crown Trading and Kumba Iron Ore Limited.

However, she contends it was to stop her prosecuting Mdluli, while the NPA says she major played a role in its decision to drop fraud charges against Mdluli in December 2011.

The controversial policeman faced fraud and corruption charges relating to the misuse of a slush crime intelligence fund to buy luxury vehicles.

He was also accused of nepotism.

Breytenbach's calm composure broke for a moment as she spoke about how incensed she became when she was told the charges against the policeman would be withdrawn.

She said Specialised Commercial Crime Unit head Lawrence Mrwebi had no legal basis to withdraw the charges.

"There was a prima facie case to be answered, and there was no justification for the withdrawal. There was no justification in the representations.

"For him to say that he had made the decision in the matter without fear, favour or prejudice, in my view, was preposterous."

After Mrwebi took his decision, she compiled a memorandum - which was in effect an ultimatum to acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba - urging her to reinstate the case or face a review.

Mdluli is yet to be recharged.

BREYTENBACH TO BE CROSS-EXAMINED

She has been giving evidence for two days now, responding to each of the 16 charges against her.

Breytenbach has said there was no basis for her suspension and that she only heard the news once an NPA spokesperson had been quoted in Eyewitness News and in newspaper reports.

She said she was first called by a Pretoria prosecutor on 1 February, to ask her if the news of her suspension were true.

Breytenbach also said a friend who works at Beeld newspaper managed to get hold of her charge sheet from the NPA before she had even seen it herself.

The straight-talking, no-nonsense prosecutor will be cross-examined on Friday and will have to retain her composure and tame her tongue while under pressure.

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