Gerrie Nel, a former top prosecutor for the South African government has been confirmed as the legal representative of the 20-year-old model allegedly assaulted by the Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
Nel in january this year resigned from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to join private firm AfriForum. Nel during his time at the NPA handled high profile cases including that of paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius.
AfriForum at a press conference held on Thursday afternoon confirmed that they had written to the DIRCO asking that the point about granting Mrs. Mugabe diplomatic immunity be turned down.
No amount was mentioned, they were just contacted through a third person.
In attendance at the press conference was the victim and her mother. Gabriella Engels had a plaster on her forehead. Gerrie Nel in commenting on approach for financial settlement clarified that: “No amount was mentioned, they were just contacted through a third person.”
The victim’s mother also expressed high hopes that with the team of legal experts interested in the case, she could now sleep knowing that she had people in their corner.
South Africa’s police minister is on record to have said a ‘red alert’ had been issued for Mrs. Mugabe, should she attempt to leave the country. She failed to appear in court earlier this week and there are moves to have her released under diplomatic arrangements.
Gerrie Nel is reknown for his high profile prosecutions earning him the nickname ‘the bulldog.’‘ His most recent high profile case being in the Oscar Pistorius – Reeva Steenkamp murder case.
He is also credited with leading the team that jailed a former national police commissioner, Jackie Selebi who was convicted of corruption in 2010. The Selebi case won him two awards in 2012.
He was named Prosecutor of the Year by the local Society of State Advocates and received a Special Achievement Award from the International Association of Prosecutors for “fierce pursuit of the vision of the National Prosecuting Authority’s ideals to achieve justice in society”