Shaik wants presidential pardon

2009-10-19 12:08

Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik applied for a presidential pardon

in April last year, the Democratic Alliance said today.

The presidency had confirmed to the DA that it had indeed received

an application from Shaik, for a presidential pardon, on April 24, 2008, DA

spokesman James Selfe said.

However, the presidency could not confirm the status of that


“If President [Jacob] Zuma grants this application it will

constitute a decisive step toward the complete corruption of the South African

soul,” Selfe said in a statement.

Shaik’s conviction constituted a rare victory for the South African

justice system in the fight to keep “a relentless ruling party, which is

determined to bend the rule of law to its own will, at bay.

“Under no circumstances must the president consider this

application. He must be open with the South African public and immediately deny

that he will grant Mr Shaik’s application.

“Not to do so would [cause] further speculation and fuel the

perception that he is looking on this request favourably,” Selfe said.

Regulations required that an individual wanting to apply for a

presidential pardon should first apply to the justice minister. That application

was then forwarded on to the presidency.

This had to happen because the justice department was responsible

for motivating to the presidency either in favour of or in opposition to the


It thus appeared that the justice department had already considered

or was in the process of considering Shaik’s application.

The law also stated that an applicant should meet certain criteria

to qualify - he should have served a significant part of his sentence, for

example, or have shown remorse for his crime.

“Schabir Shaik has demonstrated none of these things. If anything

his sentence was farcical,” he said.

“Schabir Shaik and those loyal to him in the ANC government have

done everything in their power to dilute the effect of his sentence and

undermine the impact of the guilty judgment handed down against him.

“For Shaik to be pardoned, would be a travesty of justice, and

would further highlight the ANC government’s utter disrespect for the

constitutional principle of the rule of law,” Selfe said.

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