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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Hofmeyr, William Andrew (Willie)

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Willie Hofmeyr is one of the four Deputy National Directors of Public Prosecutions in the National Prosecuting Authority. In this capacity he heads the Asset Forfeiture Unit (established in May 1999) which aims to ensure that crime does not pay. It has the power to seize assets that are the proceeds of crime or that have been used to commit crime.

Hofmeyr was also appointed as head the independent Special Investigating Unit in August 2001 after the Constitutional Court found that Judge Heath could not head the unit. The SIU is the biggest of the anti-corruption agencies in South Africa, and its aim is to investigate corruption, and to use civil litigation to prevent or recover losses to the state arising from corruption or mal-administration.

Previously Hofmeyr served as a Member of Parliament for the African National Congress from 1994 to 1999 where he was a senior member of the Parliamentary Justice Committee. He played a key role in the drafting of much of the anti-crime legislation adopted in South Africa during this period including the Prevention of Organised Crime Act which provides for asset forfeiture, as well as money laundering and racketeering offences.

He was also deeply involved in the negotiations for the final Constitution adopted in 1996, particularly in the chapters providing for the Bill of Rights and the Judiciary.

Prior to 1994, Hofmeyr worked as a human rights attorney in Cape Town in the late 1980's, working especially with the political prisoners on Robben Island.

He first became involved in the democratic movement in the 1970's while a student at the University of Cape Town. He was active in the emerging black trade union movement and was banned for five years from 1976.

After his banning he was active in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and was elected onto its provincial executive. He was arrested, detained without trial and restricted on many occasions during the state of emergency from 1987 to 1990.

He worked full-time for the ANC after it was unbanned in 1990, and served on its provincial executive committee from 1991 until 1994.

Source: W A Hofmeyr

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.