HomeReconciliation /  Press statement on possible Presidential pardon for the perpretrators of the 1996 Worcester bombing
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 05:45

Press statement on possible Presidential pardon for the perpretrators of the 1996 Worcester bombing

Written by  Claude Schroeder, Chairperson: Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process
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The Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process takes note of the weekend newspaper reports of a possible presidential pardon for the perpetrators of the 1996 Worcester Christmas Eve bombing.

One of the perpetrators Mr Stefaans Coetzee showed remorse for planting the bombs. Through the collaboration of the Khulumani Support Group he met with one of the victims of the bombing Ms Olga Mazingwane, in the Pretoria Central Prison in November 2009. During this meeting he convinced Ms Macingwane of his sincere remorse and received her forgiveness.

At that meeting Mr Coetzee indicated his wish to meet with the other victims of the bombing to listen how the bombing affected their lives and to render his apology.

The meeting between Ms Macingwane and Mr Coetzee received international and national media coverage.

On her return to Worcester Ms Macingwane shared her experience of meeting with Mr Coetzee with other victims of the bombing. They indicated their desire to also meet with Mr Coetzee.

Mr Coetzee wrote a formal apology for his involvement in the 1996 Worcester bombing that was presented to the residents of Worcester at a 16 December 2011 reconciliation day event arranged by the Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process.

The Worcester Hope and Reconciliation process tried many times to convince the Department of Correctional Services to transfer Mr Coetzee for a limited period to the Worcester Prison in order to meet with the rest of the victims of the 1996 bombing as it would be very difficult to arrange for other victims to go to Pretoria to meet Mr Coetzee there.

The request to transfer Mr Coetzee to Worcester was formally declined by the Department of Correctional Services on the 8th of May 2012.

The Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process would be able to support a presidential pardon for Mr Coetzee after he has met with the other victims of the 1996 Worcester bombing and they agree to support a presidential pardon. It is very unfortunate that the Department of Correctional Services is not willing to agree to the request of the victims of the bombing.

The Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process would like to use this opportunity to make an urgent appeal to the Department of Correctional Services to transfer Mr Coetzee for a limited period to one of the prisons in Worcester to enable him to meet with the victims of the 1996 Worcester bombing.

The Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process cannot support a presidential pardon for the other perpetrators of the Worcester bombing as they have not communicated any form of remorse for what they have done.

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