ZUMA CONSIDERING PARDONS

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has more than 300 applications for pardons waiting for his attention, says the Presidency.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has more than 300 applications for pardons waiting for his attention, says the Presidency.

There has been speculation about the possibility of pardons being granted to Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, convicted of fraud; former Vlakplaas death squad leader Eugene de Kock and Clive Derby-Lewis, convicted of conspiring to kill SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani.

The Presidency said the applicants would, once their applications were finalised, be notified of the outcome "through normal procedures".

In June 2005 Shaik was sentenced to 15 years on each of two counts of corruption, including soliciting an arms deal bribe for the then deputy president Zuma, and to three years for fraud.

He started serving his sentence in November 2006 but was released on parole in March last year on medical grounds.

De Kock was sentenced in October 1996 to two life sentences and 212 years' imprisonment on 89 charges.

In an urgent letter to Zuma yesterday civil rights group AfriForum warned that granting Shaik a pardon would undermine the impression that a supreme and independent justice system was upholding and promoting democracy in South Africa.

The DA this week said neither Shaik nor De Kock had paid their debt to society and that their release would run counter to the public interest. - Sapa

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