Pardons ruling 'a victory'

2009-03-30 20:01
Bloemfontein - A Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on presidential pardons in favour of 384 IFP political prisoners is a "massive victory" for justice, said the party on Monday.

Inkatha Freedom Party spokesperson on justice Koos van der Merwe said the fact that the department of justice had failed to dispense justice was extremely troubling.

"The IFP is calling for immediate disciplinary steps to be taken against the former minister of justice and her senior officials," Van der Merwe said in a statement.

"We now demand that the president remove Minister Brigitte Mabandla, now the minister of public enterprises, from Cabinet."

Earlier on Monday the SCA held that Mabandla had failed to properly and speedily handle the 384 applications for presidential pardons.

The court ruled that the minister had a constitutional obligation to process the applications so that the country's president could consider them.

Appeal by minister

The SCA finding followed an appeal by the minister against an order by the High Court in Pretoria. It directed Mabandla to do all things necessary to enable the president to consider the 384 applications for pardons, submitted on behalf of IFP members for the period September to October 2003.

Van der Merwe said the ruling was once again proof that the criminal justice system was failing and that the ruling party did not care about the plight of ordinary South Africans.

He said the ruling would now force current Justice Minister Enver Surty to attend to the applications.

Wasted costs

"The minister's appeal was today dismissed with costs, which the taxpayer will now have to pay. The wasted costs will run into many hundreds of thousands of rand."

Van der Merwe said in January 2007 the Human Rights Commission found the former minister of justice guilty of violating the prisoners' human rights and ordered her to finalise the applications within three months.

"Mabandla is the only minister of justice ever to be found guilty of violating the basic human rights of the most defenceless members of society, prisoners," he said.

Van der Merwe said the IFP's lawyers had already informed the state attorney that it would gather and submit any further information, if needed, to finalise the 384 applications.


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]


Houses R 10 000 000


Houses R 2 750 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. 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


You are in a curious mood and you want to be the first to know what is happening. You may find yourself drawn into cyber more

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


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 network.


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.