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Active Citizens: Who we become


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Since 2010, Khulumani has been organising and hosting social encounter tours of townships around Johannesburg.

On May 14 and 15, Mr Simon Nko from Katlehong assisted by Mr Freedom Ngubonde from Soweto will host a group of students from the University of Virginia for a two-day exploration of the sites of struggle in Gauteng involving meeting Khulumani members who were involved in that struggle.

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights issued its report on May 2 finding that there are major gaps in the capacity of the United States to protect human rights in business activities.

In the context of this report, the action of the US Supreme Court of Appeal in reducing the scope of application of the Alien Tort Statute depends concerns about the lack of adequate available mechanisms to hold corporations accountable for aiding and abetting the perpetration of gross human rights violations by companies with strong links to the United States.

On Wednesday, 17 April 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Nigerian plaintiffs who had claimed that the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company had been complicit in violating their human rights, may not continue their litigation in US courts using the Alien Tort Statute, the 1789 statute enacted to deal with violations committed by pirates on the high seas.

The decision is a major blow for the plaintiffs in the Kiobel case.
Its impact on the South Africa Apartheid Litigation which has been pending before the Second Circuit Court since January 2010, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel, is not yet clear.

The Khulumani Art for Healing and Heritage community workshops that are funded by the National Lottery, have now taken place in Amazimtoti and Adams in KwaZulu Natal and in Zamdela in the northern Free State.

The Khulumani Heritage Project is enabling Khulumani Support Group to begin to provide excellent and unique heritage services in seven provinces of the country.

Khulumani members constituted a significant percentage of the audience in the debate that was screened on Sunday night, April 7 on SABC3. The programme raised issues of the extent of exclusion of nearly 50% of South Africa's population from what is needed for a life of dignity and contribution.

Minister Malusi Gigaba, Minister for Public Enterprises and a member of the ANC's Economic Transformation Committee, admitted that the many grievances expressed by Khulumani members who used the opportunity to speak out about the circumstances of their lives, were legitimate.

His plea that the underlying causes of the entrenched inequality in South Africa, were structural, were received less warmly by the audience who advocated that the Minister has power to make the right things happen for people.

Mr Zweli Mkhize and Ms Sally Musandirire will represent Khulumani at the NACF on 17 April 2013.

Dealing with corruption at the most local level where people are most severely impacted when funds for services are diverted for rivate purposes, has been one focus of Khulumani's ongoing work on building capacity for engaged and active citizenship for participatory democracy.

Khulumani is exceptionally proud of the achievement of Ms Rita Kesselring who has completed her PhD on The Formation of a Victims' Subject Position in Today's South Africa: Embodiment and Justification of Apartheid-Era Violence. 

Rita acknowledges Khulumani in the following words in her thesis, 

Just as victims bear the brunt of the legacy of apartheid, I owe my largest debt to them. To all of them (whose lives informed this thesis) I want to express my deepest gratitude for letting me partake in their lives and tacitly sharing with me what it means to live with memories of harm.

Khulumani's National Director, Dr Marjorie Jobson will be participating in a panel of experts aimed at strengthening victims' participation before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure that participation is effective and meaningful for victims.

The panel of eight to ten individual experts, representing a range of disciplines and experiences on victims' rights in different contexts, will meet in The Hague from 24-27 April 2013.

Judy Seidman will represent Khulumani Support Group at the Colombian Dialogue for Peace being hosted in Colombia between April 18 and 22, 2013.

Khulumani is proud to be invited to participate in this very important new platform in which civil society actors are coming together to strategise on alternative approaches to securing lives of dignity for grass roots communities in the struggle to construct sustainable and stable paths towards just, equitable and democratic societies.

In the month in which South Africans celebrate Freedom Day, 27 April, there will be a focus on the continuing struggle of survivors of apartheid gross human rights violations for reparations at three venues in the United Kingdom.

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