POLL | Did Ronald Lamola promise Kanya Cekeshe more than he can deliver?
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola's support for convicted Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe has raised eyebrows.
This after Lamola took to social media earlier this week to say he would assist Cekeshe to obtain a presidential pardon, after his bail bid was denied.
TimesLIVE reported that Cekeshe was sentenced to five years behind bars in December 2017.
He was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty to setting alight a police van during the Fees Must Fall protests.
We note the dismissal of both the leave to appeal and bail for fees must fall activists Khaya Cekeshe by the Johannesburg Magistrate Court. We’re in the process of urgently assisting him with an application for presidential pardon or other legally available avenues.— Minister of Justice and Correctional Services 🇿🇦 (@RonaldLamola) October 14, 2019
Lamola's willingness to help Cekeshe was welcomed by the EFF. However, the DA criticised the move.
DA shadow justice minister Glynnis Breytenbach, according to EWN, said Lamola’s offer to assist Cekeshe undermined the justice system.
Retired Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs said he was surprised by Lamola's promise.
In an interview on eNCA, Sachs said he found the minister's decision questionable.
“All I can say is it's very unusual for a minister of justice to actually say he supports a presidential pardon. He obviously has support in very high places.”
On Wednesday, TimesLIVE reported that Lamola backtracked, saying there would be no presidential pardon for Cekeshe
He said he was willing to help students who were involved in the protests. However, in Cekeshe's case, he might not be able to do so yet.
“I made it clear there is no blanket amnesty. Everyone must apply. We made the same offer to Kanya Cekeshe.
“He has since applied for leave to appeal, so any presidential pardon application cannot happen at this stage. We remain available to assist any of the Fees Must Fall protesters,” Lamola said.