The South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) has been operational since late 2008. It was initially convened as a loose association of civil society organizations working collaboratively to respond to the Special Dispensation on Political Pardons that would have allowed then President Mbeki to pardon more than one hundred perpetrators who had been convicted and sentenced on account of having committed politically motivated offences before 16 June 1999. When the parliamentary committee implementing the process refused to address the concerns of civil society, these organisations moved to block the implementation of pardons. These concerns focused on the total disregard for the participation of victims in the process as well as the lack of transparency in the process. The organisations involved included: Khulumani Support Group (KSG), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), South African History Archive (SAHA), Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and Human Rights Media Centre (HRMC).
With the support of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), the SACTJ took their concerns regarding the flawed pardon process to the Pretoria High Court, and succeeded in getting an urgent interdict to stop the process. Subsequently, one of the potential recipients of the pardons, Mr Ryan Albutt, brought an application for leave to appeal this interim interdict to the Constitutional Court. Member organisations were respondents in this case opposing the application brought by Mr Albutt.