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Breytenbach pulls out of race to lead NPA

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Glynnis Breytenbach says she's pulled out of the race to lead the body because she wants it to be depoliticised.

FILE: DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach pictured in court on 1 March 2016. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Glynnis Breytenbach has pulled out of the race to lead the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

She was among the 12 shortlisted candidates announced last week.

Interviews for the job will happen at the Union Buildings on Wednesday and will be open to the media after the Right2Know Campaign won a court bid to have the candidates interviewed publicly.

Breytenbach previously worked for the NPA and was acquitted this year on all charges related to accusations that she modified the contents of her official laptop while working for the specialised commercial crimes unit at the prosecuting authority.

She says she's pulled out of the race to lead the body because she wants it to be depoliticised.

“For me, I hold a view that the position of the NPA should be a non-political one, it’s a position that I’ve advocated for in the past and having given the matter some very serious thought, I’ve decided that for the NPA, a political position of any nature even from the opposition party, would not be in best interest for the NPA.”

Meanwhile, Right2Know Campaign says it’s important for the interview process of appointing the national director of public prosecutions to be made public to restore the already eroded confidence in the NPA.

The group says the prosecuting authority should serve the public's interests.

The group says the NPA is a public body which over recent years has struggled to maintain the confidence of the public because of leaders who seemed to be serving political interests.

The group’s organiser Thami Nkosi says this is about a vibrant democracy which allows the public to interact with such an institution.

“Not necessarily the continuous thing where politicians make decisions on behalf of the public.”

He says the application by the organisation is demanding a government that's accountable to its people.

“In as much as we antagonise and sometimes have differences with politicians but at least our Constitution as the supreme law of the country gives us an opportunity to be able to interact with these bodies.”

Eleven candidates are now on the shortlist for the position.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)