Assistance available for victims to comment on pardons process

Posted on November 12, 2010. Filed under: Pardons |

Yesterday, the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) – which includes the Khulumani Support Group, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Legal Resources Centre, International Centre for Transitional Justice, Human Rights Media Centre, Freedom of Expression Institute and the IJR – issued the following press release in response to the recently-release list of individuals recommended for presidential pardons:

Victims Have Little Time to Comment in Pardons, Help is Available

Victims and other affected parties are working on a short deadline to engage with the process that could see up to 149 persons convicted of murder, robbery and theft, pardoned through Special Presidential Pardons.

While the Department of Justice has published the names of 149 convicted persons who have been recommended for a presidential pardon, victims affected by these crimes have not been directly informed.

The South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) has sought to make victims aware of the process and to inform them of how they can engage with the process to make sure that their voices are heard. Victims and other affected parties have 30 days from the date of the last publication, i.e. 04 November 2010, in the press of the list of 149 convicted persons to register their interest in making representations. According to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development this means that their correspondence must reach the Secretariat by 04 December 2010.

Victims are entitled to consider the applications for pardon as well the reasons of the Pardons Reference Group for making recommendations for pardon in order to decide whether to support or oppose the application. In particular victims are entitled to review the claims of perpetrators that their crimes were politically motivated. Victims may dispute that such crimes were politically motivated as well as the truthfulness of such claims. They may also register their concerns about the impact of such pardons on their safety or that of their community.

Many victims reside in rural areas and may have difficulties in enforcing their rights in this process. The SACTJ is committed to assisting victims and other affected parties to exercise their rights.

For Assistance : The SACTJ and its member organisations stand ready to assist victims and others with an interest in making representations. Please feel free to contact one of the numbers listed below:

GAUTENG: Mr Zweli Mkhize 073 704 6414
Phola Park, Vosloorus, Tsakane ‐ Ms Nomarussia Bonase 082 751 9903
Mamelodi ‐ Mr Zweli Mkhize
Stilfontein ‐ Mr Sandile Matati from Khutsong ‐ 0724608844
Diepkloof ‐ Mr Reginald Mafu ‐ 079 621 5524

NORTHERN CAPE: Mr Lesiba Kekana 079 476 1867 (Kuruman)
Taung ‐ Ms Tsholofelo Lobeko 083 619 2950

KWAZULU NATAL: Ms Rose Dlamini 072 841 3279,
Richmond ‐ Mr Musa Ndlovu 083 923 6232

EASTERN CAPE: Mr Phindile Ngcingolo 079 348 4144 (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Cradock)
Transkei Region ‐ Ms Nomarussia Bonase 082 751 9903

WESTERN CAPE: Ms Elvina Ndamoyi 083 589 9683 (Worcester)
FREE STATE: Mr Mohluoa Monnye 083 988 9895
LIMPOPO: Ms Caroline Rathokolo 082 435 2295
MPUMALANGA: Ms Mpho Masemola 076 805 0690
NORTH WEST: Mr Edward Ramorogadi ‐ 078 402 5572

For recent media coverage of the current pardons process underway, have a look at recent articles in Business Day and The Sowetan.

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