Could someone please guide me here.
Has every hick journalist and political cartoonist received privileged notification that the Presidency is on the verge of jointly pardoning Shabir Shaik and Eugene De Kock? In a sort of tit-for-tat?
I cannot work out which gallery would be being played to and for which purpose.
Are we to understand that in his overwhelming desire to pardon and reward his former financial advisor, Jacob Zuma would release the Apartheid mass-murderer to keep possible critics happy?
The idea is absurd and I cannot bring myself to believe that it hasn’t been made up by journalists of various hues looking for a story beyond the endless and tacky conflict in the ruling alliance.
The precedent for a similar equation of evil is F W De Klerk’s 1992 release of Wit Wolf spree killer Barend Strydom as an apparent quid pro quo for the release of Robert Macbride commander of the cell that carried out the Magoos bombing.
Strydom had gone on a rampage killing as many black people as he could while walking through the streets of Pretoria in November 1988. Macbride had done a number of things as commander of an uMkhonto we Sizwe cell including take the ANC perilously close to targeting civilians in the bombing of the Magoos Bar in 1984 in which 3 people were killed and 69 injured.
Both Strydom and Macbride had been on death row when capital punishment was suspended in 1990 but that is about as far as the comparison goes.
We can, at a real streatch, understand that De Klerk was satisfying two distinct constituencies in the 1992 releases.
But what possible constituencies need to be satisfied in the pardonings of Shaik and De Kock. White people want De Kock pardoned and Black people want Shaik pardoned?
I don’t think so – the suggestion is ridiculous, even for the Zuma presidency.