Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
15 Oct 2019
12:45 pm

Freedom fighter and pardoned fraudster Masemola must get his pension, ConCourt rules

Citizen Reporter

Struggle veteran Nathaniel Masemola was convicted of fraud in 2008, but pardoned by former president Jacob Zuma in 2011.

The Constitutional Court. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

Nathaniel Masemola, a struggle veteran who was convicted of fraud in 2008 and pardoned by former president Jacob Zuma in 2011, has won an eight-year legal battle to get the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) and special pensions appeal board (SPAB) to reinstate his pension.

The Constitutional Court has ordered the release of the pension, which was revoked in 2008 following his conviction on several counts of fraud. Masemola will now receive back payment for his pension from July 21, 2011, the date he was pardoned.

The GPAA and SPAB have also been ordered to pay Masemola’s legal costs.

Since his presidential pardon, Masemola has fought to regain his pension, which the special pensions appeal board argued should be forfeited due to his conviction, rejecting his request for its reinstatement.

He then took his fight to the High Court in Pretoria, where he won his case, only for the ruling to be overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Now, Justice Nonkosi Mhlantla has ruled that the pardon Masemola received meant he was once again entitled to a special pension, which is given to those considered to have made sacrifices and served in the public interest.

“Where the grounds for the disqualification have fallen away, a person will be able to receive their special pension once they have notified the board of the change in circumstance,” he ruled.

According to Justice Mhlantla, following the pardon Masemola should have been treated as if he had never been convicted.

She said the full presidential pardon by Zuma had meant that Masemola had to be treated as a person who had not been convicted from the day it was announced.

“This is a landmark case because it will probably determine the futures of many who will find themselves in a similar position as Masemola,” EWN reporter Nthakoana Ngatane said in August.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.) 

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