12 November 2010

Further developments in Pardons Process

On 18 October 2010 the Department of Justice published the names of 149 convicted criminals recommended for presidential pardon. For further information on the basis for such pardons see the news article of 22 October 2010 entitled ‘Developments in pardons process'.

Victims of an offence or other persons with an interest in a matter are entitled to be heard before the President makes a decision to grant a pardon under the special dispensation. The Department of Justice has previously indicated that victims and other interested persons have only 30 days from the date that the last notification of the proposed 149 pardons was published in a newspaper to inform the Presidency in writing that they wish to make a representation in relation to any proposed pardon. A coalition of NGOs for transitional justice (which includes SAHA, the Khulumani Support Group, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, the Legal Resources Centre, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the Human Rights Media Centre, the Freedom of Expression Institute and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation) is currently seeking clarification on the final date for submission.

In the meantime the coalition has developed a guide to the process and pro-forma letters to assist victims or other interested parties in writing to the Presidency to express their interest in a particular case.

If you would like further assistance in writing to the Presidency or other information regarding the pardons process, please contact foip@saha.org.za