ConCourt to rule on pardons

2009-08-24 20:03

Cape Town - Arguments will be heard in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday on whether 384 prisoners, some serving sentences for murder and robbery, are entitled to apply for political pardons.

Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Koos van der Merwe said on Monday he hoped the matter would "finally be resolved" six years after applications for presidential pardons were made.

"Most of them are in jail for serious crimes, such as murder and robbery - allegedly political," Van der Merwe told Sapa.

"Not all of them are IFP members. But the point is that in six years the department of justice has done nothing.

"Even if only five of the prisoners qualify for a pardon, then they will have languished in prison for nothing."

Dept 'incompetent'

Van der Merwe said the ministry of justice had been incompetent and arrogant in dealing with the issue.

"The gross violation of the human rights of these prisoners reflects badly on South Africa as a whole.

"Government's deliberate lack of action is clearly a violation of the spirit of our Constitution and we are therefore confident that the court will rule in our favour."

The prisoners first applied for pardons six years ago, but their applications were dismissed on "technical grounds".

The IFP then took the issue to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) which ordered former justice minister Brigitte Mabandla to finalise the applications within three months.

The IFP took Mabandla to court after she ignored the SAHRC ruling.

"Subsequently, the IFP took the matter to the High Court of South Africa who also made a ruling against Mabandla ordering her to finalise the matter within three months," Van der Merwe said.

"She ignored the ruling and applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which was granted."

Five judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously rejected Mabandla's appeal.

Mabandla then appealed to the Constitutional Court.

Complaint laid with Amnesty International

The IFP had laid a complaint against former president Thabo Mbeki and Mabandla with Amnesty International.

Van der Merwe said the IFP's lawyer had informed him that President Jacob Zuma had filed an affidavit on the case late on Monday.
"They have had six years to do something about this, but they leave it until late in the final afternoon on the day before the case.

"It is remarkably incompetent."
 

- SAPA

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

Shilowa supports Vote No campaign

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa has come out in support of the Vote No! Campaign launched recently by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.