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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Rebecca Davis.]

When AfriForum announced that it was setting up a private prosecutions unit to take on cases that the state declined to prosecute, there was much scepticism. There still is – but there’s no doubt that the group is really going for it. On Thursday, AfriForum revealed that the latest target in its sights is former acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba, less than a month after stating that President Zuma’s son Duduzane is being pursued. Whether these attempts are successful or not, the fact that it’s come to this is a depressing benchmark of the state of our criminal justice system. 

To say that there is bad blood between Gerrie Nel and Nomgcobo Jiba would be understating things. It was deputy director of public prosecutions Jiba who succeeded in ensuring that state prosecutor Nel was arrested by armed policemen in front of his wife and children in 2008, and charged with fraud, perjury, and defeating the ends of justice. Those charges were later dropped. 1

Now, the tables have turned. It is Nel who has given notice of his intention to prosecute Jiba. The charges? Fraud, perjury, and defeating the ends of justice.

The story of how we got here is a long and murky one, steeped in the dirty tricks and political interference that South Africa has now come to expect from the National Prosecuting Authority. Nel and Jiba’s beef dates back to 2005, when Nel prosecuted Jiba’s husband Booker Nhantsi, a member of the Scorpions, for stealing almost R200,000 from a trust. Nel got his conviction – but Nhantsi was later officially pardoned by President Jacob Zuma.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
4.6% y/y in November 2017 (CPI) & +5.1% y/y in November 2017 (PPI)
2% q/q for the 3rd quarter of 2017
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