Gerrie Nel Fikile Mbalula

Advocate Gerrie Nel.

Photo by Gallo Images / Newerk24 / Jaco Marais)

AfriForum deploy Gerrie Nel to take on KZN child abuse case

Gerrie “Bulldog” Nel will provide his legal expertise to the family of a child who was filmed being man-handled by law enforcement officers.

Gerrie Nel Fikile Mbalula

Advocate Gerrie Nel.

Photo by Gallo Images / Newerk24 / Jaco Marais)

Civil rights organisation AfriForum have announced that prosecutor Gerrie Nel will be representing the group of people arrested in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Sunday 10 May during a controversial altercation in which a child was allegedly abused by officers in Ballito. 

Officers arrived at a home with suspicions of the occupant family having broken lockdown rules and proceeded to separate a child from the family.

Nel, in his role as head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, will be assisting with legal action against the municipality. 

Officers cleared of misconduct  

A video of two local law enforcement officers in the KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) aggressively separating a distressed child from his family was shared widely and outraged people all over South Africa. 

That outrage was intensified when the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by the municipality after they conducted an investigation, concluding that the officers handled the child in line with the mandate of the Child Protection Act. 

“The child was handled in terms of Child Act, and was being taken safety after the arrest of the Father who works for Department of Health,” said municipal spokesperson Sipho Mkhize.

“It is the officer’s responsibility, like in this case, to safely keep and handle the child in cases of arrests by taking the child to a safe place – which was the case with these officers not manhandling the child.”

In steps Gerrie Nel, famous for his bullish prosecution of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius in 2014. 

Nel said that he would assist the family to ensure the safety of children by those mandated to enforce the rule of law. 

“We cannot tolerate any abuse of power, especially against children, by those government officials who are duty-bound to uphold the rule of law and protect the communities they serve,” he said.

Nel engaging with family

Nel joined AfriForum in 2017 to set up their private prosecution unit, and has been engaging with the family on Thursday 14 May to determine the correct course of action.

Earlier, an Afriforum spokesperson said that they would consider a variety of strategies to assist the family.  

“Right now, we will wait for the meeting to take place before deciding on the best course of action,” the spokesperson said.