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.
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 offences the members were convicted of were not committed for personal gain.
* The offences were committed in the course of furthering a legitimate cause, which was to eradicate gangsterism and drugs in the Western Cape.
* The jailed offenders are of the Muslim faith and “they remain firm adherents of Islamic practice and principles”.
* There was no likelihood that they would re-offend.
* The offenders’ families were emotionally and financially destitute.
“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:
* Antes Adams, who was sentenced to an effective 25-year jail term in May 2002 and is being held at Voorberg Prison. Adams was convicted of killing four-year-old Sedicka Hendricks in a drive-by shooting outside her home in Surrey Estate in 1998, and the attempted murder of her father, Faizel Hendricks, in 1998.
* Leggett, sentenced in 2001 to life behind bars for each of the 11 murders of which he was convicted. The 11 who died included gang members, shebeen owners and their customers in the Athlone area between May and October 1999. He is serving his sentence in Drakenstein Prison.
* Moegammad Isaacs, who was found guilty of leading a revenge attack on Americans gang leader Igshaan “Oeg” Marcus after his brother-in-law, Reza Heuwel, was gunned down in Tafelsig, allegedly by members of the Americans. Marcus was wounded in the attack and three people who were not gang members were killed. Isaacs was sentenced to three life terms and is in Pollsmoor Prison.
* Ebrahim Jeneker and Abdullah Maansdorp, dubbed Pagad G-Force members, were each sentenced to three life terms behind bars. The duo were convicted for gunning down Adiela Davids, her daughter Feroza Marcus and a cousin, Marlene Abrahams, in Grassy Park on April 10, 1999. Davids was killed because she was allegedly a drug dealer. The men were also convicted on an attempted murder charge for shooting Davids’s then two-year-old daughter Nashaad Galant. Jeneker is at the Breede River Prison in Worcester, and Maansdorp is being held in Warm Bokkeveld.
* Faadiel Orrie, who was convicted of murdering Yusuf and Fahiema Enous in Gouda while they were in the Witness Protection Programme in 2000, is serving two life terms in Breede River.
* Faizel Samsodien is being held at Voorberg Prison after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of German immigrant Gerd Heinz Bonacker in Noordhoek on November 2, 1999.
* Yusuf Abader is serving an 18-year sentence in Drakenstein Prison for the murder of Ebrahim Satardien in Grassy Park on October 1, 1999. Satardien was killed after being acquitted in a case concerning the murder of a fellow Pagad member.