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31 Jan 2017 11:27
In court, he memorably brought Pistorius to tears and then told him to stop crying, cementing his reputation for being a pitbull in the courtroom. (AFP
The now former state prosecutor Gerrie Nel earned his pitbull status with four particular, and notorious, cases.
On Tuesday morning, the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that state prosecutor Gerrie Nel had resigned, and soon after it was reported that he would be joining AfriForum to pursue private prosecutions on their behalf.
Nel made his career as a state advocate prosecuting some of South Africa’s most well-known court cases. Here are the four court cases that propelled him to success and gave him his reputation as a pitbull.
Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz WalusNel was a junior prosecutor in Chris Hani’s murder trial in 1993.
Derby-Lewis, an apartheid MP, and Janusz Walus, a Polish expat in South Africa, were charged for Hani’s assassination.
Jackie SelebiIn a memorable moment from the Selebi case, Nel boldly called the former top cop and Interpol head an “arrogant liar”.
“Mr Selebi, this is becoming more and more ridiculous. You know what this shows? That you are arrogant and that you lie,” Nel said at the time.
It was one of the most significant cases against a national police commissioner, and was in itself controversial. In the early hours of the morning of January 8 2008, Nel was arrested by 20 police officers at his home in front of wife and children. The fraud charges that were laid against him were later dropped, and suspicion emerged that the arrest was an attempt to disrupt the investigation into Selebi.
Two years later, Nel secured Selebi’s 15-year imprisonment for corruption. Selebi was released on medical parole in 2012, and died after a stroke in 2015.
Brett KebbleThe Brett Kebble murder case is still one of the most controversial prosecutions in the NPA’s history. The men accused of killing Kebble – Mikey Schultz‚ Nigel McGurk and Faizel Smith – signed agreements to be state witnesses in the case against Glenn Agliotti, thus avoiding prison sentences.
Kebble, a mining magnate who had ties to some in the ANC, was shot dead in 2005 in Johannesburg. Agliotti, a convicted drug dealer with alleged links to organised crime, was arrested in connection with the murder.
He was later acquitted after the NPA found that Kebble had orchestrated his own murder and the state had not brought sufficient evidence against him.
Agliotti, however, has had compliments for Nel, too. During the Selebi trial – Agliotti was good friends with the top cop – he said: “I don’t particularly like Mr Nel … and I say that with respect.”
The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, who killed his fiancée Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 2013, brought Nel worldwide fame.
In court, he memorably brought Pistorius to tears and then told him to stop crying, cementing his reputation for being relentlessss in the courtroom.
News24 says that Nel may go on to work privately for AfriForum, but we put it to you that the NPA will miss him.
AfriForum announced on Tuesday that Nel would be holding a press conference on his future plans later that afternoon.
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