Nel: NPA handling of Malema case unlawful

Gerrie Nel says the NPA has referred Malema’s case to the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit to decide whether or not to reinstate charges but Nel says it’s not a decision the unit can make.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel is seen during a break in proceedings at the murder trial of double amputee Paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria 4 March 2014. Picture: Pool

PRETORIA - Private Prosecutor Gerrie Nel says it appears the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is handling the criminal case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema in an unlawful manner instead of simply re-enrolling the case in court.

Nel and lobby group AfriForum announced in Centurion on Thursday that they’ll be seeking a private prosecution against Malema on fraud and corruption charges if the state decides not to pursue the matter.

The EFF says the move is an attempt to deflect attention away from the party’s push for land expropriation without compensation.

Nel says the NPA has referred Malema’s case to the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit to decide whether or not to reinstate charges but Nel says it’s not a decision the unit can make.

“In terms of the law, Mr Pretorius does not have the authority to review a decision taken by the SCCU. In terms of the Constitution, the National Director of Public Prosecution will have the right to review, but that’s not what we’ve been told.”

The EFF says instead of sitting down to a debate with the party, AfriForum is pursuing a racist criminal prosecution for political reasons.

The party claims the case was struck off the roll because the state failed to present a solid case, when in fact, it was removed from the roll due to a series of postponements because one of the co-accused was ill.