Presidential Pardons in South Africa

Family Law

If a client has been convicted of an offence where the client was sentenced to a period of direct imprisonment or was sentenced to pay a fine of more than R20 000.00, such an individual will never qualify for an expungement and their only option would be a presidential pardon application through the Department of Justice.

Presidential Pardons are quite in-depth and complex and must include clear and strong motivations to support your application to have your criminal record removed. Such an application takes approximately 2 years to finalise at the Department of Justice as there are many role players involved in the process. Ultimately the application will end up on the President’s desk and will require his approval – this is discretionary and such an application is therefore unfortunately not guaranteed. It is for this reason that it is recommended that a client utilise our services when preparing such an application, as SDF Attorneys know what to include in the application to make the chances of success as high as possible.

Should an individual meet all of the requirements for an expungement except that the mandatory 10 (ten) year period has not lapsed, a presidential pardon application will not be an option to circumvent this waiting period. A presidential pardon application is only an option for those who will never qualify for an expungement.