No one is above the law‚ not even the president – Afriforum signs up Gerrie Nel
TMG Digital | 2017-01-31 15:39:25.0
Gerrie Nel. File photo.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Advocate Gerrie Nel‚ newly appointed head of AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit‚ says he resigned as a state prosecutor because he believed the NPA had a tendency to selective prosecutions and that everyone was seemingly not equal before the law.
Nel will take up his new job tomorrow‚ 1 February 2017.
AfriForum said in a statement that South African legislation makes private prosecution possible in cases where the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decides to not prosecute someone suspected of an offence.
“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‚” Nel said in a statement issued at a news conference in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon.
Kallie Kriel‚ CEO of AfriForum‚ said Nel’s appointment would “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‚” Kriel said.
Advocate Nel said no cases have been selected as yet for a private prosecution and that he is still setting up the team.
Nel said his new 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.”
He also said that this is not a parallel justice system – it is a team which will only pick up cases which the NPA selects not to prosecute.