18 April 2019

South Africa: Minister Michael Masutha Submits King Dalindyebo's Pardon Application to the Presidency

press release

Minister Masutha has submitted King Dalindyebo's pardon application to the Presidency

Owing to heightened media interest in the pardon application of Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha, would like to place on record the facts in relation to the pardon application.

In South Africa the power of the President to pardon or reprieve offenders and remit any fines, penalties or forfeitures flows directly from section 84(2) j) of the Constitution and it is therefore regarded as a presidential prerogative. While the president makes the ultimate decision in terms of whether a pardon is granted or not, the administration of pardon applications has been assigned to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, as the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of Justice.

We can confirm that the initial application for a pardon of King Dalindyebo was made by Contralesa in January 2016. The King Dalindyebo has himself also subsequently made an application for a pardon. In terms of the process the application was submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for processing and to Minister Michael Masutha to make a recommendation to the President whether to grant a pardon or not.

The Minister sought the advice of external legal counsel on the application including facilitation of interaction with the victims who expressed their views on the pardon. One of the considerations in a pardon application is the views of the victims of the crime. For that reason, counsel also engaged with the King in respect of facilitating victim offender engagement in line with our restorative justice approach. The views of the victims were factored in when the Minister made his recommendations to the President.

King Dalindyebo's pardon application has been finalised with recommendations by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and thereafter formally submitted to the Presidency for the President to exercise his prerogative on the matter.

There are no specific timelines prescribed in law for when the President may make his decision on whether to grant the pardon to the King or not. The prerogative rests with the President.

Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

South Africa

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