Open letter to the President of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma regarding "Presidential Pardons" from the UDM President (12 January 2010)

Dear Sir

The abovementioned matter has reference. Recently there has been widespread speculation regarding presidential pardons.

Of particular concern to us is the mention of names that are politically-connected but common criminals, along with people who committed crimes with massive political implications.

In this context it is important to recall the amnesty process started under the previous administration of former President Mbeki. That process, which was designed to consider the difficult cases where there is an overlap between political and criminal motives, is yet to be completed. Nor to my recollection were people such as Mr De Kok, Mr Shaik or the killers of Chris Hani part of that process.

It could easily divide the country if it appeared that some will be given preference by way of pardons and without being submitted to the same level of scrutiny as those who participated in the amnesty process.

It is our view that it would be best to complete the current amnesty process and then appoint a special committee of parties represented in Parliament, in order to carefully consider any additional cases.

Yours sincerely
Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President