?? “I would never sell my integrity or do something I don’t believe in” – Gerrie Nel

By Drum Digital
31 January 2017

South Africans are divided about the news that state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, will be working with Afriforum to start a private prosecutions unit with investigator Paul O’Sullivan.

South Africans are divided about the news that state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, will be working with lobby group Afriforum to start a private prosecutions unit with investigator Paul O’Sullivan.

Afriforum is a civil-rights organisation group which has been seen to protect Afrikaans culture and this has caused the debate on social media.

Nel’s first day at Afriforum will be on Wednesday and he is expected to assume his role at 8 am.

Speaking at a press briefing, Nel said he had been unprepared to address the media.

He said the decision to move to Afriforum was not made overnight and that he was glad he would continue to be a prosecutor which is what he has been doing his entire life.

“I want to make it clear that this wasn’t a sudden decision that I decided on yesterday. There’s been consultation and conversation going on about my career and what I want to do. When I made a decision, I decided to implement the decision, but it wasn’t easy,” he said.

What has stood out about Nel’s decision to join Afriforum is his impassioned desire to ensure that prosecution does not happen selectively.

“My view has always been that everyone is equal before the law. I think that Afriforum is a brilliant organisation that ensures that everyone is equal before the law and there are no selective prosecutions,” he says.

“It’s only Afriforum that came up with this concept and it’s only them that are willing to put resources to create such an office.”

Despite having been the prosecutor in the highly-publicised case against former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, which made international headlines, Nel says he has no intention of prosecuting people through the media.

“It’s a harmful and hurtful process to splash all over the media who you are persuing,” he adds.

Instead he challenged South Africans to continue to follow his career and be critical of any wrong doing. “I would never sell my integrity and do something I do not believe in. I challenge everyone to continue to follow my career and see if I have changed my integrity that I have built up for 36 years and now all of a sudden I make different decisions and prosecute people differently,” he adds. Nel said he has five to ten years left of his career and would like to spend the last days of his career doing something that would benefit the public and the legal system.  

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