Gerrie Nel’s legal stand-off with Julius Malema has set township and village folk against one another.
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Plans by the legal “Bull dog” Gerrie Nel to privately prosecute EFF strongman, Julius Malema, on behalf of AfriForum, have divided the townships and villages right down the middle.
In recent weeks Nel conducted an anti-corruption workshop in Modimolle, whereby he was reportedly scathing about corrupt elements, be they black or white.
Suffice to say Nel the “Bull dog” was part of the team which successfully prosecuted the late SACP leader, Chris Hani’s killers.
Early this week socialite and opinionmaker, Matome Sebelebele, set the cats among the pigeons when he threatened to take up membership of the EFF, in defence of the African child (Malema).
However, some within the ranks of his social media circle, objected.
Asked Nicky Khumalo: “Did you feel the same when it happened to (former President Jacob) Zuma or you only see it now when it’s Malema?”
In his response, Sebelebele was having none of it, daring that the EFF should print millions of membership forms. “We are coming to join them (EFF) in our millions.”
For one reason or the other, the exchanges kept on dragging Zuma’s name into the discourse.
Zamaswazi Hlophe wanted to know if the message being conveyed was that the loyalty to blackness was selective. “It depends on who the black person is.”
Nelson M Kgwete argued that Malema had never involved himself in any acts of corruption. “The report of the Public Protector entitled On the Point of Tenders was a work of fiction — part of a smear campaign. Every cent he has spent in his life, he worked for honestly.”
Last Thursday, 19 April, Nel told a news conference the pressure group would pursue private prosecution against Malema, on charges of fraud and corruption.
The announcement triggered fierce debate between black oppinionmakers not only locally, but also on the national discourse.
Many accused Nel as an alleged racist, while many others dared that when the man was State counsel during the Oscar Pistorius trial, Nel was a hero because the accused was a white person.
Technically, many locals were confused by the concept of a “private prosecution”.
Research by The BEAT has established that in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act, if the National Prosecuting Authority decided not to pursue a case, it was within the rights of the citizenry to consider pursuing the matter in the form of private prosecution.
16 months ago 25 April 2018