South Africa 27.8.2018 04:05 pm

Students unhappy with Masutha’s ‘help’ for pardons

Student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile says the minister did not agree to their request to pardon all students involved in protests.

Fees Must Fall student leaders say the minister of justice should do more than just help them apply for a presidential pardon, Pretoria East Rekord reports.

The leaders had asked Minister Michael Masutha at a meeting last Wednesday to plead their case with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile told the media that after Masutha’s media briefing in Pretoria on Monday he had not agreed to their request.

ALSO READ: EFF seems confused over Masutha’s Fees Must Fall pledge

The student leaders are demanding that all Fees Must Fall protesters convicted of crimes related to the protests be pardoned.

“The minister gave us a lecture on law and rhetoric, which was lacking in terms of specifics,” Khanyile said, adding that fellow students were willing to work with the minister to resolve all problems.

Masutha had told the briefing that students had to understand and respect the separation of powers and the rule of law.

“The executive had neither the mandate nor inclination to favour any person or group of people with a specific or general reprieve outside the existing constitutional legal framework.”

He said he would discuss with the National Prosecuting Authority possible options such as mediation on the merits of each charge against the protesters.

The minister said he could help students fill their pardon applications.

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