Derrick Grootboom

  • Public Prosecutor
  • University of Southampton, Law / Human Rights


Derrick was born in the rural South African Eastern Cape town of Klipplaat. His biggest challenge was obtaining a decent education as a means to escape poverty. In 1985, Derrick was arrested, convicted of acts of sabotage against the apartheid state and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Derrick completed his high school studies in prison and later went on to comple two law degrees. Derrick appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1999 with regards to his role as an activist during the anti-apartheid struggle. Derrick completed a Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Southampton and has represented himself successfully in the highest court the land, the Constitutional Court of South Africa. At present, Derrick is a Public Prosecutor in the employ of the Department of Justice and Correctional Service under the National Prosecuting Authority.

In this video, Derrick recalls his involvement in the South African liberation struggle during the 1980s.

Greatest Achievement

My greatest achievement is everyday becoming myself more and more; leaving behind a much appreciated life and legacy.

Professional Interests

Analysing how the different positions held by each of us in the criminal justice system can impact on the dignity of one another.