IN AN ironic twist, seven members of the ultra-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging will side with President Kgalema Motlanthe and the government in court in Pretoria today.
They will join him in opposing an application by a coalition of civil organisations for an interdict that would prohibit the granting of presidential pardons to more than 100 people convicted of political crimes.
Fanie du Toit, of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, said the coalition did not oppose presidential pardons but objected to the fact that victims and their families and were not consulted.
The pardons would be the culmination of a process initiated by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2007 and would be given to prisoners serving time for politically motivated crimes committed before June 16 1999 who did not seek amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It is understood that the AWB men, convicted of assaulting black municipal workers in the Northern Cape town of Kuruman in 1995, have applied for pardons. — Additional reporting by Sapa