A storm is brewing over the applications for presidential pardons for politically motivated crimes – with some organizations expressing shock at the names of the listed candidates. The names of at least 149 candidates were released by the Department of Justice yesterday. The list consists of people convicted of various murders which include two offenders convicted for 21 murders each, after the period of 1994.
On the list include those of former apartheid Law and Order Minister – Adriaan Vlok and Police Chief – Johannes van der Merwe.
Marje Jobson from the victim support group – Khulumani – says they are shocked by the names on the list.
“Our worry is when you look at the breakdown of these candidates; there are a number of people what we would call serial killers. There are also a number of people who are classified in a group called uncategorised, which to us means that these people have not stated a clear political motive,” explains Jobson.
It is because of these classifications that Jobson sees this process very problematic.
The release of the names coincides with the Department of Justice asking the victims of the crimes and other interest groups to make representations regarding the specified pardons.