Denied victims a voice in the pardon process.
On Thursday the seven organisations, including the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), the Khulumani Support Group and the International Centre for Transitional Justice, vowed to go to court should Motlanthe grant the pardons under the current process.
Last month attorneys wrote to Motlanthe asking him to stop the pardon process, failing which urgent legal action would be brought. Motlanthe responded, saying he would seek advice from minister of justice Enver Surty before responding.
But this week Motlanthe's spokesman, Thabo Masebe, said the president would not halt the process and would accept a final report containing recommendations drawn up by the Presidential Reference Group, chaired by the Democratic Alliance's Tertius Delport, at the end of the month, as arranged.
Masebe said Motlanthe would “consider legal advice” before acting on the recommendations.
The reference group, comprising representatives from all political parties, screens pardon applications. It works behind closed doors, does not include representation from victims or require full disclosure. So far, it has recommended pardons for some 105 applicants.
The CSVR's Hugo van der Merwe said: “The political pardons process is unconstitutional and is in conflict with the principles underpinning the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
Delport said the presence of diverse parties had created “balance” and prevented a conflict of interest.