Leaders seek clemency for 9 Pagad killers

Cape Town - In an unusual move, the leadership of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) have pleaded for clemency for nine of its jailed members, all of whom are serving lengthy terms of imprisonment, including multiple life sentences, for urban terror-related murders.

Their pleas were contained in a petition to President Jacob Zuma, asking the president to “exercise his prerogative of mercy” to what they dubbed “the Pagad 9”, and grant them amelioration of their sentences or individual release on parole.

Pagad spokesman Sahib Osman speaks to an officer with members of Pagad. during a march last year through Retreat.Photo: Ross Jansen. Credit: INLSA

The nine include Mansoer Leggett, who was sentenced to 11 life terms in jail – the harshest sentence imposed on a Pagad member yet.

The petition, signed by national co-ordinator Abdus-Salaam Ebrahim and national secretary Abidah Roberts, was yesterday handed to Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman, to hand to Zuma.

In addition, a copy was handed to Judge Siraj Desai in his capacity as the chairman of the National Council of Correctional Services.

While Judge Desai indicated that he could not make a decision on the matter because matters of such a nature had to be referred to him for advice by the Correctional Services minister, he assured them it would receive serious consideration if referred. “It is quite clearly a matter which warrants careful evaluation in the current social milieu,” Judge Desai said.

The two-page petition stated that the president’s intervention was sought on several grounds, including that:

“The exercise of clemency by Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, would meet the approval of a large and significant part of society who share the principles and ideals of Pagad, namely, the eradication of gangsterism and drugs in their community,” the petition stated.

The offenders are: