A COALITION of seven human rights organisations has slammed President Jacob Zuma’s bid to set “serial killers” free. On Monday, the government published the names of 149 people set to get political pardons. Their victims’ families have just 30 days to tell government whether they object to the pardons or not.
The coalition, including the Legal Resources Centre, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Freedom of Expression Institute, say many of those set to be pardoned still represent a serious threat to society.
There are several individuals recommended for pardon who are serial killers and who have engaged in crimes such as theft and robbery with aggravating circumstances” Legal Resources Centre attorney Steve Kahanowitz said.
“Such crimes can hardly be described as political. Some have served only a fraction of their sentences.”
Apartheid minister of law and order Adriaan Vlok and some of his generals are set to be pardoned. Vlok got a suspended sentence for the attempted murder of former Presidency director-general, Frank Chikane, who was on an apartheid hit list, but he refused to reveal to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission who else was on the list.
Vlok will now be pardoned without having to disclose anything.
Ryan Allbut, Alexander George Whitehead, Arend Christian de Waal and Hans Jacob Wessels, four members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging who in 1995 attacked black people in Kuruman, Northern Cape, will also be pardoned – despite the fact that they only entered jail in 2006.
“Cliffie” Barnard, and Daniel Coetzee will also get a pardon. They bombed a Shoprite and a pharmacy used mainly by black people in Worcester, near Cape Town, on Christmas Eve of 1995, killing four and injuring 50. They were convicted on multiple counts of murder.