Breyten­bach dev­as­tated by Labour Court set­back – lawyer

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

NATIONAL Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity ( NPA) prose­cu­tor Glyn­nis Breyten­bach will ap­ply for leave to ap­peal af­ter her ap­pli­ca­tion to be re­in­stated in her job was dis­missed by the Labour Court in Joburg yes­ter­day.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion was dis­missed,” Breyten­bach said af­ter pro­ceed­ings, de­clin­ing to comment fur­ther. But her lawyer, Ger­hard Wa­ge­naar, said they would def­i­nitely ap­peal. They would comment fur­ther af­ter study­ing the judg­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the judg­ment, Breyten­bach in­di­cated her in­ten­tion to re­fer the dis­pute to the bar­gain­ing coun­cil in an “al­ter­na­tive prayer for in­terim re­lief ”.

“That is the ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum for the dis­pute to be heard,” the judg­ment said.

The ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion was for her to get her job back as re­gional head of the NPA’s spe­cialised com­mer­cial crime unit in Pre­to­ria.

Wa­ge­naar said Breyten­bach was “dev­as­tated”.

“It ap­pears the court is of the view that this court does not have ju­ris­dic­tion to en­ter­tain the ap­pli­ca­tion,” he said, adding that if leave to ap­peal was also dis­missed they might launch a pe­ti­tion to a higher fo­rum.

Ear­lier this month, Judge Hi­lary Rabkin-Naicker heard ar­gu­ments from lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the NPA and Breyten­bach.

An­drew Red­ding SC, for Breyten­bach, sub­mit­ted that her new job was not the same as the one she had be­fore her sus­pen­sion in April last year.

“The po­si­tion to which she has been trans­ferred is in no way the equiv­a­lent of the po­si­tion she used to hold,” said Red­ding.

He sub­mit­ted that the NPA still con­sid­ered Breyten­bach sus­pended. He said that was based on let­ters be­tween her lawyer and the NPA af­ter she was cleared at a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing on May 27 of all 15 charges against her.

The fol­low­ing day, the NPA an­nounced it would bring a court chal­lenge against the rul­ing be­cause it con­sid­ered the find­ings “fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect and legally un­sus­tain­able”.

The NPA wanted to place Breyten­bach on spe­cial leave pend­ing a re­view of the dis­ci­plinary hear­ing’s find­ings. At a meet­ing held about Breyten­bach’s re­turn to work, she was told there were al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct against her.

“(The NPA) is do­ing all it can do to pre­vent Breyten­bach from get­ting her hands on the docket of (for­mer po­lice crime in­tel­li­gence head Richard) Md­luli,” Red­ding said. – Sapa

IN LIMBO: Glyn­nis Breyten­bach’s wish has not been granted.

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