New NDPP won't affect Breytenbach case

The NPA has been without a permanent head since Vusi Pikoli was suspended in 2007.

Suspended Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Mandy Wiener/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's lawyer says the appointment of a new NPA head won't affect her ongoing legal dispute with her employer.

Breytenbach was suspended in April last year for her handling of a mining rights case, but has since been acquitted of all charges.

She's since been reinstated, but has been moved to the Director of Public Prosecutions office in Pretoria.

Breytenbach has been trying to compel the organisation to allow her to return to her position at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU).

Her application was dismissed in July, but her legal team says it intends to bring an application for leave to appeal.

Breytenbach's attorney said she has no comment on the appointment of Mxolisi Nxasana and added she doesn't know him.

Her dispute with the NPA saw her questioning the credibility of acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba and head of the SCCU Lawrence Mrwebi.

At the end of the month, Jiba will go back to being a deputy director.

During her tenure, she drew criticism for being politically flexible. However some within the NPA have suggested to Eyewitness News that she may still enjoy political influence over her new boss if he doesn't demonstrate sufficient strength and independence.

Meanwhile, the appointment of Nxasana has left many prosecutors questioning who he is exactly.

Several prosecutors have told Eyewitness News they've never heard of him and hope he has the sufficient independence to withstand political pressure.

Prior to Nxasana's appointment by President Jacob Zuma on 30 August, the NPA had been without a lawfully appointed permanent head since 2007.

While many say they are relieved the organisation now has a permanent director, they are concerned they know nothing about him.

One senior prosecutor says a National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) needs to have stature and standing in the legal fraternity and many are concerned he doesn't meet these requirements.