Being a senior prosecutor in the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) is akin to placing your head on a chopping block and waiting for the axe to fall!
The latest suspension of senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach for doing what she is paid to, namely, investigate crimes is just another suspension in a long line of suspensions within the NPA.
It seems that whenever a public prosecutor investigates a high-profile case against prominent people and they start getting too close to the truth they are either suspended, transferred or kicked out if they should continue with the investigations.
In Breytenbach’s latest case she was involved with the investigation into Julius Malema’s “family trust”, as well as investigating a criminal charge of fraud based on information that had come to light in a civil case in the North Gauteng High Court between Kumba and Imperial Crown Trading (ICT). The latter investigation is quite a politically sensitive one as President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, has links to ICT. Seems ICT used forged title deeds in obtaining mineral rights in Sishen. (Hope they investigate who printed the fake title deeds…) It seems that as long as you are family or a friend of president Zuma, or a senior member of the ANC, then investigations, court cases or prosecutions are just swept aside and ignored.
So now they have ordered Breytenbach to stop the investigation into Zuma’s son, which she has refused to do, and the NPA in turn has laid a charge against her for misuse of power.
In the past there have been similar occurrences in the NPA where senior prosecutors have been booted out for doing their work. Those who did drop sensitive investigations, suddenly got promotions and fancy titles.
Government intervention became blatantly highlighted when former president Thabo Mbeki had advocate Vusi Pikoli suspended because he refused to cover up the investigation into corruption charges against former police chief Jackie Selebi. This opened the floodgates and we ended up with investigations against various high profile people being withdrawn.
The NPA investigation to highlight crimes has now been compromised with this latest suspension as it would appear to outsiders that certain political leaders and their families are off limits and that prosecutions are more likely to take place against those who oppose the ANC. Good examples of investigations and court cases going nowhere is Winnie Mandela, Jacob Zuma, Zo Shabir, Lt.genl. Richard Mdluli and the likes.
Dr. Jan D’Oliveira SC, previously with the NPA, is on record as saying it is very sad that the NPA has deteriorated to the state that it is in now.
The government has in the last while has been pretty vocal in claiming that they now want to fight corruption, but when those who are trying to do are victimised by theses very people, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and a concern that it can only get worse.
Extract of Bob Dylan song – The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll.
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show tha all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the Nobles get properly handled
Once the cops have chased after them and caught ém
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and critize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears