Adv Anton du Plessis



Advocate Anton du Plessis returns from New York to the NPA as Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions responsible for Operations, Strategy and Compliance. He started prosecuting in 1997 and was appointed as a senior prosecutor where he led the NPA’s development and roll-out of specialised sexual offences courts and Thuthuzela Care Centres.

He is an admitted advocate of the High Court of South Africa. As a globally recognised criminal justice, organised crime and rule of law legal expert, he has over 20 years of management and operational experience in the field.
Anton was the Legal and Criminal Justice Coordinator in the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), based at the United Nations in New York. As a senior UN expert, he led CTED’s work on the legal and criminal justice elements of the UN Security Council’s response to terrorism.
Anton has served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) - Africa’s largest and preeminent think tank that works to promote human security and justice on the continent. Anton originally joined the ISS as a senior programme manager in 2003 and took over the leadership role in 2013.
Anton has worked on criminal justice and security sector reform in more than 20 African countries.
He has researched and written on prosecution reform and has presented papers at leading African and international conferences on the issue. He has extensive international experience working with the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, including the International Criminal Court. He previously served with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, and as a Senior State Advocate and head of section in the NPA of South Africa.
He also served as an expert criminal law assessor in complex murder and rape trials in the High Court. Anton has three law degrees (B-Iuris, LLB, LLM) as well as Executive Leadership Diplomas from Harvard and Oxford universities.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Anton was selected as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the WEF each year to recognise the most distinguished young leaders nominated from around the world. Anton has chaired and spoken during public and private sessions at the World Economic Forum, including a public session at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos in 2015 and several high-level panels at WEF Regional Summits. He served as a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Fragility, Violence and Conflict; and the WEF Meta Council on the Illicit Economy. These Councils are the world’s foremost intellectual network that helps inform the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos as well as set the direction for global, regional and industry agendas. Anton is a recipient of a Dangote Fellowship awarded by the WEF for young Africans selected each year for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
Anton serves on numerous expert groups and editorial boards, and has presented to several parliamentary committees and is a well-known commentator and analyst in local and international media, including BBC, Channel 4 UK, Channel Islam and Voice of America. 
Anton has published widely, including as co-author of the Oxford University Press book on counter-terrorism law and practice.
He is a competitive cyclist and marathon runner.  He is married with two kids and lives in Pretoria.