A meeting between NPA boss Shaun Abrahams and Parliament’s justice committee got off on the wrong foot on Wednesday, when Abrahams objected to DA MP Breytenbach’s presence during the briefing.
The NPA was briefing the committee on their annual report when Abrahams insisted that Breytenbach is not qualified to hear the annual report, as she is facing some criminal charges.
Breytenbach, a former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor, is currently facing several charges, including fraud, perjury, defeating the ends of justice and contravening the NPA Act.
Appalled at her presence, the NPA boss Shaun Abrahams maintained that it will be a clash of interest to entertain the presence of the DA MP while he was briefing MPs on the NPA’s annual report because the criminal charges against her are at “an advanced stage”.
“She is currently an accused person in a criminal matter that is at an advanced stage. I am not sure it is right for someone who is an accused person to be here,” he asserted.
When asked if she would humbly take her leave, Breytenbach said she won’t make a move because she has not been proven guilty of all the charges. In addition, she expressed shock that Abrahams took the matter on the offensive side.
“I am not going anywhere. One is innocent until proven guilty,” angry Breytenbach thundered.
Throwing his weight behind Breytenbach, ACDP MP Steve Swart said the DA MP is entitled to hear Abrahams’ report.
“I think honourable Breytenbach is an elected member, and she’s entitled to participate,” Swart remarked.
African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo opined that Breytenbach should stay if her conscience allows her to do so.
The committee resolved to move on with the meeting. It, however, agreed to seek advice from Parliament’s legal team for future reference.