Africa loses a fearless defender of criminal justice


Pretoria, South Africa – On Monday 30 March, Joan Kagezi, Acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of Prosecutions at the International Crimes Division in Uganda, was shot and killed on her way home.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) was privileged to work with the formidable Kagezi who was a respected colleague and great friend to many ISS staff members.

She is remembered for her wealth of knowledge and experience as a prosecutor of terrorism and international crime cases. Kagezi was dedicated to international justice and worked tirelessly to advance human rights and the rule of law not only in Uganda but in Africa and globally.

‘We worked closely with Joan for many years. Her humble nature, confidence and selfless commitment to criminal justice will be an enduring contribution to Africa,’ said Anton du Plessis, ISS managing director. ‘Joan spearheaded the fight against terrorism and international crime in Uganda, and still found time to train fellow prosecutors across the continent.’

A woman of great stature and dedication, Kagezi was the lead prosecutor in the ongoing trial of 13 men accused of participating in the July 2010 Kampala bombings that killed 76 people. Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for that attack.

She worked with the ISS to help build the capacity of prosecutors and the judiciary in Africa. ‘Joan’s fearless commitment to criminal justice will be her legacy, and she will be sorely missed,’ said Jemima Njeri Kariri, senior researcher at the ISS.

The circumstances of Kagezi’s untimely death are of grave concern for the rule of law in Africa. Criminal justice officials responsible for protecting citizens remain vulnerable to violence, intimidation and interference.

The ISS extends its condolences to Kagezi’s family, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Uganda, the International Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda and her friends across Africa and the world.

For enquiries, contact:

Ottilia Maunganidze, ISS: +27 82 588 9755, [email protected]

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