Zuma considering pardons

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma will still consider the remaining 154 applications of the total 384 applications for presidential pardons.

In response to parliamentary questions on Thursday, Zuma said he would consider the applications in terms of the Special Dispensation Process.

"The applicants will be informed of my decision in due course," said the President.

Presidential pardons come as a result of a Special Dispensation created by the former President Thabo Mbeki in 2008. Under the dispensation, those who were convicted of politically motivated offences before 16 June 1999 and those who had not applied for amnesty to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), can bring their applications for pardon.

Section 84 (2) (j) of the Constitution empowers the president of a republic 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.

Zuma said this would be done once effect is given to the decision of the Constitutional Court in the matter of Ryan Albutt and Others versus the President and Others. Albutt, a member of the AWB, sought to overturn a high court decision that interdicted the President from granting pardons to perpetrators of political violence without the consultation of the victims.

In February, President Zuma processed 384 presidential pardons made by individuals associated to the Inkatha Freedom Party, but rejected 230. Additionally in February, the Constitutional Court ruled that victims now have to be consulted prior to a pardon being awarded.