No pardon applications on Zuma's desk

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has not at this stage looked at or considered any of the 300 applications for a presidential pardon, the Presidency said on Monday.

The statement follows certain media reports claiming that Zuma is considering granting apartheid-era police hit squad commander Eugene De Kock and convicted fraudster Shabir Shaik presidential pardons.

"The ongoing media speculation and reports that President Jacob Zuma has considered or is about to grant pardon to anyone are incorrect and misleading," said the Presidency.

The president's office said it would "not enter into discussions of individual applications as their confidentiality must be respected".

Last week, the presidency said applicants waiting presidential would be notified of the outcome of their applications through normal procedures.

Zuma has more than 300 applications for pardons awaiting his attention, from South Africans from all walks of life who have violated the laws of the land.

A presidential pardon is an executive act of mercy to be exercised by the President in his exclusive discretion, and which will only be reviewable by the courts in very limited circumstances where bad faith by the President can be proved

The process of applying for a presidential pardon requires an individual to first apply to the Minister of Justice, before that application is then forwarded to the Presidency.

This must happen because the Department of Justice is responsible for motivating to the Presidency either in favour or in opposition to the application.