Almost 150 criminals, racist killers and those responsible for mass atrocities committed during and immediately after apartheid have been recommended for special pardon in a deeply flawed and unconstitutional process headed by President Jacob Zuma, the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) warned today.
The Coalition asserts that President Zuma would be acting inconsistently with the values and principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as well as a recent decision of South Africa’s Constitutional Court which confirmed that the disclosure of truth was an essential precondition of the process.
Dr Allan Boesak recently addressed Monash University on the search for reconciliation in South Africa. He spoke to many issues that are central to the work of Khulumani Support Group as it continues the struggle for reconciliation based on justice in South Africa.
Dr Boesak asserted that "If the moral justification of apartheid was apartheid's heresy, this (current) abuse of reconciliation is our political heresy. In this process, we have perpetrated a further, grave injustice. We have ... re-victimised the people, ... robbed them of their rightful place in history, ... dispossessed them of their pride in their heroic role in the struggle for liberation, and ... disowned the sacrifices they have made". We have trivialized their suffering, suppressed their voices, minimised their sacrifices and overlooked their 'forgiveness, magnanimity and grace' in the face of imprisonment, torture and the murder of loved ones. "This ... purposeful unremembering serves the hegemonic narrative".
A Khulumani member from Whittlesea, a Grade R teacher, has called together all Grade R teachers in the district to compile a list of grievances to deal with the discriminatory treatment of both Grade R teaches and learners from across the Eastern Cape:
At the end of April, no Grade R teachers in the province apparently received their salaries. In addition, school authorities in many areas do not include the Grade R learners as recipients of the school-feeding that is provided, despite the evidence that adequate feeding of young children is the greatest investment to make in a child's future to ensure maximal brain development.
In March 2012, Craig Divis, a Distinguished Fulbright Teacher for the 2011-2012 school year, spent a day with Khulumani Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Ms Nomarussia Bonase.
Craig is visiting South Africa from Vermont in the United States. He is keeping a blog about his visit to South Africa and explains that he has travelled “to South Africa to study, research, and carry out professional development. My focus is on the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa’s history, and I will be focusing on the various tactics, strategies, and ways that individual people, groups, organizations, both within and outside of South Africa, resisted and dissented the apartheid regime.”
KHULUMANI WELCOMES JUDGE NAVI PILLAY’S DECEMBER 2011 AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF in support of the PETITIONERS, ESTHER KIOBEL et al in their case against ROYAL DUTCH PETROLEUM CO et al: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Supports that Holding Corporations Liable for Human Rights Violations is Fully Consistent with International Law. (SEE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF ATTACHED).
Khulumani welcomes the landmark decision handed down this morning by the North Gauteng High Court that the South African authorities must investigate Zimbabwean officials, who are accused of involvement in torture and crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe.
The litigants, the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum (ZEF) expressed appreciation for the very strong ruling of Judge Hans Fabricius which asserted that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) had acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully in not taking forward the original investigation into Zimbabwean officials linked to acts of state-sanctioned torture (SEE PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED).
It has been an unacceptable reality that the member countries of the South African Development Community have refused up to the present, to investigate and prosecute perpetrators whenever they travel to South Africa and other SADC jurisdictions.
As an active member of the Right to Know Campaign (R2K), Khulumani notes that a report on the public hearings held across the country about the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) was tabled in Parliament today and is to be discussed throughout this week by the Portfolio Committee chaired by Ms Faith Kwaza. Her contact details are: Cell: 072 122 0371; Tel: 021 403 8062 and E-mail:
Khulumani will be following the developments on this bill with interest in the context of the threats to access to information that cold result in diminishing the hard-won right of access to information in South Africa as a constitutional right to promote transparency, openness, responsiveness and accountability in government as we try to move out of the historical practices of the secrecy of the past.
This is Khulumani's submission, dated 24 April 2012, to the Department of Justice with regards to the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995: Education Assistance and Medical Benefits Regulations (proposed DOJ amendments – March 2012).
Khulumani is commenting on the present regulations which the TRC Unit is rushing to see implemented in the words of the TRC Unit, to spend the money that is available.
Khulumani mourns this extremely limited perspective when so much is possible with the existing money in The President’s Fund and when all the submissions made for better solutions, have not been interrogated to date.
On Workers’ Day 2012, Khulumani joins the SASOL ex-workers in mourning the passing of their colleague, Mr Ntombela – and in calling on SASOL to make redress for the injustices faced by ex-workers who were illegally dismissed 25 years ago.
A former loyal employee of SASOL at its Sasolburg premises, Mr Andries Ntombela, passed away on Saturday April 28, 2012 after several weeks in hospital following a motor vehicle accident.
Mr Ntombela was 77 years old. He had given SASOL 30 years of dedicated service as a driver, safely transporting SASOL’s senior management between SASOL’s Sasolburg operations and its Rosebank, Johannesburg Head Office, before being dismissed in 1987.