Top prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Tuesday resigned from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to partner with forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan at Afriforum’s corruption busting unit.
“We can confirm that Mr Nel will join Afriforum and work side by side with Mr O’Sullivan. He has resigned from the NPA… more information about the partnership will be released today,” said Afriforum spokeswoman Annelise de Vries.
Nel led the prosecution of a number of high profile cases, including that of disgraced Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius who killed his girlfriend in his house 2013. Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in 2014. The State’s appeal against the sentence, seen by many as too lenient for the crime, saw the Supreme Court of Appeal overturning the initial culpable homicide conviction to murder. Masipa then sentenced Pistorius for the second time to six years.
Nel, known for his no-nonsense approach when doing cross-examinations in court, enjoyed a stellar career and served the NPA for 32 years.
Other celebrated cases included the prosecution of the late former police national commissioner and head of Interpol, Jackie Selebi, whom Nel nailed for corruption, and was sentenced to 15 years. He served a few months before he was released on medical parole in 2012. Nel also led the prosecution against Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus, who were jailed for the murder of anti-apartheid struggle hero Chris Hani in 1993.
O’Sullivan, who helped nail Selebi, among other cases, partnered with Afriforum’s anti-corruption unit last year. The unit was launched by Afriforum to fight corruption “and to establish a private prosecuting unit to prosecute corrupt officials who are being protected by the NPA”, Afriforum said at the launch.