Alumni - Jan Henning

Advocate Jan Henning:  champion of prosecutors



Adv Jan Henning is regarded as one of the best prosecutors and managers that South Africa’s prosecuting authority has produced.

He contributed to the fight against insider trading on the stock exchange, is known as a champion of better working conditions for prosecutors and fulfilled leadership roles in various fields and in many institutions, including the Institute of Commercial Forensic Practitioners, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). 


During his career, he appeared for the State in the High Courts and the Supreme Court of Appeal in various much-publicised and complex criminal cases. These included cases of murder, rape and commercial crimes, as well as security and secret operations.

Adv Henning was also a member of the team that argued for the abolition of the death penalty in the new constitutional dispensation in South Africa.

He started his career by joining the Department of Justice as a prosecutor in the offices of the Attorney General in Grahamstown, Kimberley and Johannesburg respectively, where he was the head of the Attorney General’s Commercial Crime Unit. He retired as Deputy Head of the NPA in 2006 after an illustrious career of 33 years.

Former President FW de Klerk awarded him the status of senior council in 1992; in 1999 he was appointed as Special Director of Court Management in the NPA. In this capacity he completed a report in 2001 on the workload of the Special Investigation Unit at the direction of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Adv Henning served as member of the NWU Council . He was a member and chairperson of the Audit Committee of Council, as well as President of the Convocation of the NWU.

He obtained Blur and LLB degrees at the former PU for CHE.

Even in his retirement, Adv Henning is not afraid to comment frankly and incisively on issues that affect our constitutional democracy and specifically the functioning of the criminal justice system.