In the wake of an announcement by AfriForum’s private prosecutions unit led by Advocate Gerrie Nel that it will be privately prosecuting National Council of Provinces speaker Thandi Modise for animal cruelty, investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw has criticised the group, saying there is a bigger alleged corporate crime that deserves prosecution more.
The Afrikaner lobby group says Nel will privately prosecute the ANC dignitary after the National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) discovered several carcasses of pigs, sheep, geese and ducks on Modise’s farm in 2014.
Modise’s spokesperson slammed the NSPCA’s threat by AfriForum as an abuse of judicial processes for narrow political ends.
Pauw said AfriForum’s “outright stupidity” in prosecuting Modise “boggles the mind”.
Writing on Facebook, he said that although what had happened on Modise’s farm had been “abdominal (sic)” and inexcusable, AfriForum was making a mistake by apparently allegedly pitting white people against black people with its cases.
Pauw felt that there were more important cases to pursue, especially a massive alleged non-prosecuted pyramid scheme. He named one alleged unresolved case of “fraud, corruption and money laundering” involving Sharemax, which he said had “definitely” been a pyramid scheme, but “nothing” had come of even the Hawks investigating the case.
It saw about 40,000 mostly Afrikaner victims allegedly losing as much as R5 billion, he said. Many such alleged victims were pensioners.
He said AfriForum prosecuting the Sharemax directors would make legal history and be a noble cause, since the Reserve Bank had found that Sharemax violated the Banks Act in 2010.
He wrote: “The directors of Sharemax live in luxury in villas in Pretoria’s eastern suburbs and have through their scheme acquired holiday homes, hunting farms and yachts in the Red Sea … while many investors have lost everything”.
He urged Nel to take on the case, adding “your work is cut out for you”.
Pauw has already received support for his argument on social media, though some believe it is an example of “whataboutery”, arguing that both Modise and Sharemax can be pursued if both have a case to answer.