29 October 2018

SANELE MANJE! THE TIME IS NOW!

Submitted by Marjorie Jobson

Khulumani Support Group marks 20 Years since the Handing of the TRC Recommendations on Reparation and Rehabilitation for victims of apartheid gross human rights violations to President Mandela in Parliament on 29 October 1998: JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED

KHULUMANI DEMANDS OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE INCLUSIVE DELIVERY ON THE 1998 TRC RECOMMENDATIONS ON REPARATION AND REHABILTIATION TOWARDS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE COMMITMENTS FORGED IN OUR POLITICAL TRANSITION TO REALISE THE BUILDING OF A JUST, INCLUSIVE AND PEACEFUL SOCIETY

Members of Khulumani Support Group will gather today from 10:30 at the front door of the Constitutional Court to demand that the 1998 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation are finally fully implemented towards ending the perpetuation of the transgenerational transmission of trauma and violence that has become institutionalised as a culture of violence in South Africa.  

khulumani members have been denied the justice and redress that is understood to be the only guarantee for realising a sustainable peace in our country in which recurrences of gross human rights violations are avoided through this preventive action. After decades of humiliation and traumatisation of ordinary citizens, whose blood was shed as they stood up in a powerful movement of largely non-violent resistance to the political oppression of the apartheid regime, the proposals to heal their wounds and to facilitate redress for the losses they sustained, have not been implemented as proposed by the TRC.

While a comprehensive set of benefits was adopted in Parliament for military veterans of the underground liberation movements, based to a large extent on submissions made by Khulumani Support Group to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, government has stalled on insisting that a similar comprehensive package of reparations and rehabilitation measures are offered to the around 120,000 individuals whose strategic participation in the liberation struggle, remains mostly unacknowledged.

When these ‘proud soldiers’ helped to render the state ungovernable and forced their hand on engaging in negotiating an end to the political stalemate at that time, the consequences for themselves of their stands for justice and freedom, have not been reckoned with twenty-four years later. The focus on the military struggle has continued to obscure the role of community social activists in small towns across our country as the recommendations for redress of harms suffered, remain largely aspiRational, and not practical.   

No more time should pass before the TRC recommendations for healing victims, for repairing harmed communities and for providing processes in support of reconciliation, are embedded in an effective policy and its implementation. Without such a comprehensive and coherent policy on reparation and rehabilitation, the gulf of economic and social inequality will only widen further while citizens live with a deep sense of betrayal of the principles and values for which they stood.

Our shared future has been shortchanged because of these betrayals by political office-bearers to fulfill their undertakings to make effective redress to restore not only political justice but also social, economic and cultural justice for all victims.                          

Khulumani demands the intervention of the President to include all victims of TRC-recognised violations (an estimated 120,000 individuals or their children) in a still-to be fInalised policy framework that eschews the continuing attachment of officials to the aRbitrary “TRC closed list” policy that provides access to remedies for only 22,000 iindividuals. All the wounds of victims of apartheid gross human rights violations need to be healed; their lives need to be repaired and they need opportunities to be reintegrated into what was to be the imagined, inclusive ‘new society’.

Without these actions, citizens loss of trust in the state will deepen and widespread disillusionment will pervade their communities when they face the next generation who contiNuously ask them: ”Were your efforts worthwhile?”  “Would a violent revolution not be more effective?”                         

The dreams of a transformed society have never died – but their realisation has been suspended as many individuals have priorItised their own greed over respect for equal access to resouRces and to opportunities for all citizens. This sorry state of affairs has limited the realisation of the reconciliation agenda in South Africa.                        

There can be NO RECONCILIATION WITHOUT REDRESS. 

Issued by Khulumani Support Group:

For contacts:

Marjorie Jobson, National Director, Khulumani Support Group: Cell: 082 268 0223

Nomarussia Bonase, National Organiser: Cell: 060 878 9778

Selloane Phethane, Provincial Deputy Chairperson: Cell: 073 010 9285

Nyanisile Rolihlahla, Cape Town Coordinator: Cell: 073 673 2614

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