Blow for cop boss as Nel goes free

Pertunia Ratsatsi

Pertunia Ratsatsi

Suspended national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi suffered yet another blow yesterday when the Pretoria magistrate's court withdrew all charges against Gerrie Nel, the head of the Scorpions in Gauteng.

Nel, who was spearheading an investigation against Selebi, was arrested last week Tuesday and was charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

Yesterday, those charges were withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

Chief prosecutor Matric Luphondo said: "After carefully studying the docket, the state came to the conclusion that all charges against Mr Nel be withdrawn."

Just after the ruling, people who had packed the courtroom applauded Nel, who rushed outside the courtroom where he was given hugs.

He then rushed to an office in the court building to avoid the media.

His legal representative, advocate Ian Small Smith, said: "We are relieved the charges were withdrawn. Nel wishes to go back to work and carry on his duties.

"I would advise him to file a lawsuit against the South African Police Service because I believe he will have a good case. But the decision is his."

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tladi Tladi said Nel's case was treated the same as other cases.

Nel was released on R10000 bail by the Pretoria magistrate's court on Wednesday after his legal team was made to wait until very late at the Pretoria high court.