Arrest 'just a witch-hunt'

The arrest of Gauteng Scorpions boss Gerrie Nel is a witch-hunt to protect national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

The arrest of Gauteng Scorpions boss Gerrie Nel is a witch-hunt to protect national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

Nel is heading the Scorpions' case against Selebi.

"The axing of Vusi Pikoli, and now Gerrie Nel, has all the appearance of a witch-hunt to protect Selebi," the DA's safety and security spokesman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said.

"The fact that it allegedly took 20 armed policemen to serve the warrant on Nel further reinforces this," she said.

The charges are apparently related to offences allegedly committed between 2004 and 2005.

The DA was deeply concerned that Nel had been arrested while Selebi remained free, said Kohler-Barnard.

"This arrest gives the impression that our criminal justice system favours some and not others."

Kohler-Barnard said the National Prosecuting Authority's public silence on whether it planned to charge Selebi or not did nothing to dispel fears that Nel's arrest was somehow connected to the case.

"The DA repeats its calls for the NPA to make its decision public and bring this damaging silence to an immediate end," Kohler-Barnard said. - Sapa

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