Adv. Gerrie Nel appointed as Head of AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit
Adv. Gerrie Nel resigned as State Prosecutor and has been appointed from 1 February 2017 as Head of AfriForum’s new private prosecuting unit. South African legislation makes private prosecution possible in cases where the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decides to not prosecute someone suspected of an offence.
According to Nel, he decided to accept the position at AfriForum because he was concerned over the NPA’s tendency to selective prosecutions and that everyone was seemingly not equal before the law.
“I believe in the supreme authority of the law. AfriForum’s newly founded private prosecuting unit gives me the opportunity to help ensure that justice triumphs from within civilian society, irrespective of the position of the person who is guilty of corruption. AfriForum and I are now in a position to prosecute ourselves corrupt persons who are not prosecuted by the NPA,” says Nel.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, says Nel’s appointment is a giant step ahead in AfriForum’s battle against corruption and the pillaging of tax payers’ money. According to Kriel, he trusts that Nel’s appointment will send a clear message to corrupt politicians and officials on national, provincial and local government levels that they can no longer be indemnified from prosecution due to their political contacts.
“Corrupt persons must realise that no-one is above the law, not even the country’s president,” says Kriel.
Nel will now start with a process to involve other experts in AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, to ensure that AfriForum has the strongest possible ability to intervene where the system of criminal law neglects to let justice prevail.
According to Nel, he will start with an investigation to determine which public officials against whom there is a strong case are not being prosecuted.
“AfriForum’s private prosecution unit will consider the list of suspects that are identified together with the information received from the public about corrupt officials to determine who should be prosecuted first. An announcement about this will follow as soon as the process is concluded,” says Nel.
Kriel pointed out that even though it is very expensive to prosecute privately, it means that with Nel’s appointment at AfriForum private prosecution is no longer an unobtainable dream.
AfriForum says through Kriel that every member of the public can play a major role in making the new prosecuting unit stronger by contributing to the legal costs. To make it easy, a system was created through which the public can donate R10 for the legal costs by simply sending an SMS with their name to 38312.