DA says Shaik, De Kock have not repaid debt to society

Possible pardons for fraud convict Schabir Shaik or former Vlakplaas death-squad leader Eugene de Kock would be unwarranted, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.

“Neither have repaid their debt to society,” said the DA’s shadow correctional services minister James Selfe.

The Sunday Independent reported this month that President Jacob Zuma might be considering a presidential pardon for De Kock, after allegedly meeting him in secret at Pretoria Central Prison in April last year. Zuma’s spokesperson in the Presidency Vincent Magwenya and African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa have denied any knowledge of the meeting.

Selfe said that pardons could be granted in two broad instances.

Firstly, if a sentence was seen as incorrect or excessive and secondly, if the president deemed it to be in the best interests of the public to grant clemency.

“Neither condition is applicable to either De Kock or Shaik,” said Selfe.

He said Shaik had served less than two-and-a-half years of his 15-year sentence and De Kock had served just 13 years of his two life sentences.

“The release of either De Kock or Shaik would run counter to the public interest … Any decision to pardon these two criminals would constitute a devastating blow to the rule of law in South Africa.”

The Sunday Independent previously reported that De Kock apparently gave information to Zuma about the involvement of other people who got off “scot-free”.

In return for a pardon, the newspaper reported, De Kock indicated he would help any new investigation into apartheid-era atrocities, including the recovery of bodies of victims of the security forces. – Sapa

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