State versus Oscar Pistorius: The prosecutors

2014-03-02 14:00

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Although much has been written about prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s “golden touch”, he is certainly no golden boy at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Coincidence saw him and his co-prosecutor, Andrea Johnson, being handed the Oscar Pistorius case.

Nel is best known as the Gauteng head of the defunct Scorpions.

He is least known for being a wrestling coach to children.

Former NPA head Vusi Pikoli says Nel and Johnson were never deterred, even when “many people got scared and started moving away from difficult cases”.

Of Johnson, Pikoli says: “She is another fiery prosecutor. She knows her job and she’s very passionate.”

It was under Pikoli’s leadership that Nel and Johnson prosecuted former police chief Jackie Selebi.

But after the ANC’s Polokwane conference, Nel was sidelined when President Jacob Zuma appointed his long-standing enemy Advocate Nomcobo Jiba as acting head of the NPA.

Nel was only given the Pistorius case after being contacted by a senior prosecutor in Pretoria, who panicked because nobody was available to take the case at short notice. Nel was available.

“If I were going up against Nel and Johnson, I would make sure of my case,” said Pikoli.

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