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Ferocious Gerrie Nel is like a dog with a bone

Nel has a tenacity of purpose and a failure to let things go.

An interesting commentary on the character of celebrated prosecutor Gerrie Nel is the fact that he was a provincial wrestler in his younger days and still coaches youthful aspirants in the demands of this sporting discipline.

It certainly explains one aspect fully: his tenacity of purpose and his failure to let things go.

And it possibly explains Nel’s decision to turn his back on 35 years of prosecutorial experience and throw in his lot with lobby group AfriForum with as scant a notice period.

Nel, who pointedly denies any political motive behind this seemingly quantum shift, has proved time and again he is a fighter to his core.

His pursuit of justice in the cases involving former police commissioner Jackie Selebi and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius amply underline that.

The essence of a successful prosecutor is an outwardly contradictory admix of careful preparation, patience and the ferocity of the bulldog he has been likened to.

Given that no slant in the investigations Nel chooses to pursue becomes apparent, it would underscore that the dictum of “without fear or favour” is indeed the mantra that drives him.

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