ANC slams handling of Nel case

2008-01-16 00:00

Cape Town — The African National Congress’s national working committee has strongly criticised the handling of the criminal case against Gauteng Scorpions boss Gerrie Nel.

In a statement following the NWC’s first meeting since its election, the ANC said South Africa has a long way to go to achieve equality before the law.

Nel — who has been the lead investigator in the case against National Police Chief Jackie Selebi — was arrested at his Pretoria home last week for alleged corruption and defeating the ends of justice, but on Monday, charges against Nel were withdrawn in the Pretoria Regional Court.

His legal team is awaiting further instruction from Nel regarding a possible civil claim against the SAPS.

The ANC said the sudden withdrawal of charges against Nel raises a number of questions. “The way in which this case has been handled strengthens suspicions that those who occupied positions in agencies of the former apartheid government can act with impunity while the offensive against cadres of the democratic movement is intensified,” the NWC said in its statement.

The NWC said it discussed transformation and the need to restore the integrity of law enforcement units and the entire criminal justice system.

The NWC said that, in pursuit of the campaign on education, an urgent meeting would be held with the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to discuss how to make quality education accessible to all learners.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday, it intends submitting parliamentary questions to Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula relating to Selebi.

DA Safety and Security spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said yesterday the DA intends to find out who made the decision to move against Nel.

The DA also wants to know what the line of authority with regard to Nel’s arrest was.

Kohler-Barnard said the DA also wants to know the following:

Did the SAPS follow procedure by arresting an NPA prosecutor without informing the acting National Director of Public Prosecutions? If not, what is the explanation for this breach of procedure?;

What decision-making role did Jackie Selebi play in the arrest of Gerrie Nel?;

Was Selebi aware of the impending arrest? Given Nel’s status, it is unlikely that Selebi was not aware;

How many SAPS members were present at Nel’s arrest, what rank were they and what station were they from?;

What station was Nel taken to and why?;

Is there any basis to the allegation that Gerrie Nel’s cellphone was taken away from him and switched off, thus depriving him of access to legal representation?; and

Will the Gerrie Nel docket be made available for public scrutiny? If not, why not?

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