Who Is Pistorius Prosecutor Gerrie Nel?

Gerrie Nel has received a lot of attention for his no-nonsense attitude. He's been nicknamed the pit bull and the bull dog among trial watchers.
Posted at 5:11 PM, Apr 13, 2014

As the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius continues Monday, we will likely see more aggressiveness from the prosecutor who has become known in South Africa for his no-nonsense attitude.

Gerrie Nel's grueling cross examinations of the paralympian sprinter have earned him the nicknames "pit bull," "bull dog" and " bull terrier" by the media — with many believing he's successfully poking holes in Pistorius' account of the night he shot his girlfriend. (Via NBC, CNN, BBCNew York Daily News, ABC)

NEL: "There is no other way that would've been discharged without you pulling the trigger. You are a liar."
​"You're sorry for their pain and sorrow, but you're not sorry that you killed their daughter." 
(Via CNN)

Nel knows what he's doing. He's had more than 30 years experience and many successful cases to his name.

One of Nel's major contributions in justice dates back to 2001 when he helped establish a division of South Africa's elite police and prosecution unit called the Scorpions, which targeted organized crime and corruption. (Via Journeyman Pictures / "Scorpions")

One of the Scorpions' cases involved Jackie Selebi, former South African police boss who was convicted of corruption in 2010 for accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from a drug dealer over a decade. (Via ENCA)

Nel's work in that case earned him two coveted awards — one for prosecutor of the year in 2012. (Via Who's Who Southern Africa)

The Scorpions unit disbanded in 2009 when Nel was arrested on a fraud charge — a move he reportedly described as a "witch hunt" aimed at protecting Selebi prior to his trial.

A trial that also witnessed some of Nel's aggressive cross examinations. Mirror Online quotes Nel accusing Selebi of being an arrogant liar on the stand — like he has recently with Pistorious.

Nel is no stranger to high-profile cases, either. An even earlier case in 1993 when Nel was only a junior prosecutor resulted in the conviction of those responsible for murdering a well-liked anti-apartheid activist. (Via SABC)

But not everyone favors Nel's tactics. Of course, those he's prosecuted have their opinions. The Mirror Online quotes the drug dealer involved in the Selebi trial saying, "I don't particularly like Mr. Nel and I say that with respect. I believe the accused doesn't like Mr. Nel and I don't think many people that I know like Mr. Nel."

And according to The South African, the legality and fairness in his cross examinations of the Blade Runner are coming into question.

Many were also shocked and appalled when Nel displayed a picture of Steenkamp's deceased body in the courtroom, causing Pistorius to break down in tears during cross examination. (Via The Telegraph)

Still, trial watchers generally view him as entertaining. Gerrie Nel memes making their way around social media have certainly brought a lot of attention to the trial and Nel's memorable moments. (Via Twitter / @007MrBondZA, @Oluphelele, @PaulivW, @Amanda_DeLange)

Nel is set to resume questioning Pistorius Monday in what will be the fourth day of cross examination of the defendant.