No blanket exemption from prosecution nor presidential pardons for students linked to violent #FeesMustFall protests will be granted‚ justice minister Michael Masutha said on Monday.
He offered‚ however‚ to guide the students in making applications to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for a review of prosecutorial decisions in cases of students who are already charged and whose matters are currently on trial.
The activists declined to join what was billed as a joint media briefing with the minister in Pretoria on Monday when they heard that their call for presidential pardons and amnesty for their participation and acts in the fee-hike revolt had not been granted.
“There are no agreements. That is why we refused to sit with the minister at the same table and we have agreed that there is no coalition‚ no marriage‚ no unit‚” said convicted #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile.
He was speaking shortly after Masutha had taken to the podium to announce that following the student’s demonstrations at the Union Buildings and Parliament last week‚ he had met with them and informed them that he was willing to assist them.
Masutha said‚ however‚ that their demands that all charges against them would be dissolved immediately could not be met. He clarified that President Cyril Ramaphosa could not interfere with the processes of the judiciary.
“It is worth noting that presidential pardons are granted in respect of convicted and sentenced persons only on the basis of the information they provide and in circumstances where the applicant has shown good cause. Under no circumstances can presidential pardons be predetermined‚” the minister said‚ reading from a prepared statement.
Masutha said he had given a few propositions to the students.
He tasked them to form a delegation to provide a list of all the students who were arrested‚ charged‚ convicted or still undergoing trial. He said where appropriate‚ he would guide the students on the process of making the applications for a presidential pardon.