Former President Jacob Zuma outside the Pietermaritzburg Police Station. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)
Former President Jacob Zuma outside the Pietermaritzburg Police Station. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Medical parolee Jacob Zuma has not applied for a pardon

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Former president Jacob Zuma has not applied for a pardon to be considered after his recent incarceration at the Estcourt prison where he was released on medical parole recently.

But the question of whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will consider him for pardon has come from one of the parties in Parliament.

Leader of Al Jamah-ah Ganief Hendricks wanted to know from Justice Minister Ronald Lamola if there had been a move by Ramaphosa to consider granting Zuma pardon.

Lamola said it was individuals who applied for pardon before Ramaphosa can consider the request.

It was that the president initiates the process.

Ramaphosa would sit with applications for pardon in his office where he would then apply his mind.

However, Zuma has not applied for pardon, said Lamola in a written reply to Hendricks.

“Applications for pardon are considered on an individual basis based on the application made by the applicant or his/her legal representative.

“No application for pardon was received in respect of Zuma’s conviction for the minister’s consideration and recommendation.

“My department plays a supporting role in receiving pardon applications and processing the documents for the consideration of the president.

“The preparatory steps to be taken by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development fall within the auxiliary powers of the President in the decision-making process as per the case of Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development v Chonco and Others 2010 (2) BCLR 140 (CCT),” said Lamola.

“With regard to pardons in general, the President’s power to grant pardon is derived from section 84(2)(j) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution).

“The decision whether or not to grant pardon to an applicant rests solely with the president.

“Though there is no right to be pardoned, the function conferred on the president to make a decision entails a corresponding right to have a pardon application considered and decided upon rationally, in good faith, in accordance with the principle of legality, diligently and without delay.

“That decision and the constitutional responsibility for that decision, rests solely with the president as head of state,” said Lamola.

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Political Bureau

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