Zuma completes IFP pardon applications

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has processed 384 presidential pardons made by individuals associated to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

Of the 384 applications, Zuma has decided to reject 230.

"Out of the 384 applications, he has decided to reject 230 applications. The applicants will be informed of the outcome within a reasonable time through the normal channels," said a statement issued by the Presidency.

Zuma on Thursday filed a supplementary affidavit in the matter of Chonco and 383 others, being heard in the Constitutional Court. The case relates to 384 IFP members who applied for presidential pardons in 2003.

In the supplementary affidavit, Zuma indicated that he had considered and applied his mind to all 384 applications for pardon.

He has therefore asked that the Court not to grant the applicants the relief that they seek.

"The relief they seek is in fact rendered academic by the fact that the applicants' applications have all been processed," the affidavit says.

The Presidency said that of the 384 applicants, 146 made application for pardon in terms of the special dispensation announced by President Thabo Mbeki in 2008.

The President of the Republic is empowered by Section 84 (2) (j) of the Constitution to pardon or reprieve offenders. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development routinely receives the applications for processing and forwards these to the Presidency for consideration by the head of state.

"A court order granted by the North Gauteng High Court on 6 April 2009 interdicted and prevented the President from making any final decision regarding these applications. Until judgment is delivered on the matter, the President is unable to make any final decision on these 146 applications," it said.

A total of eight applications remain.

Although the nine applicants did not apply for pardon in terms of the special dispensation, their circumstances are closely linked to those applicants who applied in terms of the special dispensation process as discussed above.

The President has therefore decided that it would not be fair to the eight applicants or the special dispensation applicants to be considered separately because of the link between their circumstances