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Pretoria - The NPA's director of prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi denied on Tuesday that he had unilaterally stopped the prosecution of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
He was speaking at his colleague Glynnis Breytenbach's disciplinary hearing in Pretoria, during cross-examination by her lawyer Wim Trengove SC.
Mrwebi was asked about his testimony at a meeting on December 5, 2011, when he met the director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng, Sibongile Mzinyathi.
When Mrwebi said he believed it was a consultation on whether the case file was problematic and if the investigation should be stopped, the hearing digressed into debate on whether consultation also meant a decision and whether agreement had been reached.
Mrwebi said he believed there had been “50/50 agreement” with Mzinyathi.
“We agreed on the problems, not on stopping the prosecution,” he said.
Trengove then put it to Mrwebi that he “unilaterally” stopped the prosecution of Mdluli without agreement.
“In respect of certain issues,” said Mrwebi.
“Which means your decision was unilateral, wasn't it?” asked Trengove.
“I do not believe so,” said Mrwebi.
Trengove said Mrwebi had required “substantial agreement” to stop the prosecution, and that Mzinyathi had not agreed that it be stopped.
Mrwebi responded: “No. There was no express agreement. His view was that the prosecution should go on.”
He rejected Trengove's submission that the decision to withdraw the charges was unlawful.
“I do not think it is.”
Earlier, the hearing was told that Mrwebi had said the case against Mdluli belonged with the inspector general of intelligence, but that he had not consulted the police or the inspector general.
“I did not think it was necessary, because I was looking into the matter independently,” he said.
Trengove submitted this was “to protect General Mdluli”, but Mrwebi countered with: “That's nonsense. That's nonsense.”
There was also cross questioning on a discrepancy between a date on a memorandum stating that the prosecution would be stopped.
Mrwebi said the meeting with Mzinyathi was on December 5, 2011. The memorandum was also completed on this date. However, he inadvertently left the date December 4 on the memorandum while using an old template. - Sapa