JOHANNESBURG – Private prosecutor Gerrie Nel is preparing to offer his help to the Johannesburg model who accused Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe of assault.
Nel is one of this country’s top criminal prosecutors. He successfully prosecuted former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi for corruption and Paralympian Pistorius for murder.
There is a seeming impasse SA authorities and Mugabe’s team‚ as it is believed she is seeking diplomatic immunity after she was accused of assaulting the 20-year old woman on Sunday night.
The alleged assault had taken place at the Capital 20 West in Sandton. The alleged victim Gabriella Engels‚ said Mugabe had beat her with an electrical extension cord and opened a case of assault against Mugabe on Monday.
Nel will announce how he plans to intervene later on Thursday.
AfriForum issued a media advistory stating: “Advocate Nel will announce at the conference what steps will be taken to support Ms Engels.”
When he began his new job under the helm of the civil society group AfriForum in February – heading a private prosecutions team intended to bring justice to South Africa’s political and economic untouchables – Nel said he firmly believes in the South African justice system and this is a way of assisting the National Prosecuting Authority.
He said it would not attempt to be a parallel justice system – it is a team that would only pick up cases which the NPA selects not to prosecute.
Late last month‚ The Times reported AfriForum’s private prosecutions unit had two potential cases in its sights.
The group’s CEO‚ Kallie Kriel‚ confirmed that the tenacious Nel’s unit was preparing to pursue a criminal as well as a corruption case for private prosecution.
Kriel said they were putting a lot of effort into preparing the cases‚ with an announcement planned in the next three months.