Khulumani's commitment to support its members as active citizens is visible in various spheres of our society. We list some of the recent activities here to show the important role Khulumani plays as a social movement in South Africa.
1. Khulumani received confirmation from the United Nations that our submission of a complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on alleged Extrajudicial Killings at Marikana had opened the door for a confidential process between the UN and the South African government. Khulumani has learned some important background information on the Marikana Massacre from our contact with miners at Marikana who are the children of Khulumani members from the Eastern Cape.
On Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, Khulumani staff members attended the exhumation of the remains of Mr Nceba Snuma, one of the 'Mofolo Three', from a pauper's grave in Avalon Cemetery in Soweto.
Nceba was killed by a booby-trapped limpet mine. The booby-trapped limpet mines given to his two comrades, Caswell Khumalo and Richard Ngwenya, failed to detonate and they were allegedly abducted and murdered near Rustenburg where their bodies were thrown into a ditch and burned. It is still not known where their remains were buried.
Khulumani recently participated in seminars that were organised by the South African History Archive at Constitution Hill to mark the 10th anniversary of International Right to Know Day, 28 September. Two Khulumani staff members attended the Right to Know dialogue forum on September 26 and two Khulumani local group chairpersons attended the seminar for paralegals on September 27.
Context of Khulumani's Use of PAIA to Facilitate Social Change
Khulumani has been training its active citizen member groups in the use of PAIA to address local community problems with some important returns for member communities who have used this mechanism.
The annual national seminar of Students for Law and Social Justice took place over the Heritage Day long weekend and focused on Cross Examining our Constitutional Democracy: Does Your Vote Really Count?
Khulumani's National Director, Dr. Marjorie Jobson, was invited to speak on the possibilities of interaction between Chapter 9 institutions and civil society movements serving to strengthen South Africa. She highlighted the possibiltiies of Chapter 9 institutions providing alternative mechanisms for citizens to litigation for placing issues on the national agenda and of the possibilities of citizens working with Chapter 9 institutions for deepening the participatory and direct aspects of democratic practice.
Khulumani members are proud survivor victims of the gross human rights violations associated with one of the greatest struggles for justice that the world has known – the struggle to end racial domination and oppression in South Africa. They are bearers of a glorious history of participation and contribution to a cause greater than themselves.
Each Khulumani member can tell a story of the humble contribution they made to the struggle for liberation in South Africa. Most shared Mandela’s vision of “the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities#”. It was an ideal for which many lived and died in South Africa, including many loved ones of Khulumani members. It is their sacrifice that Khulumani remembers with somberness and gratitude today.
On Saturday, September 22, 2012, Khulumani Support Group will be participating in a large delegation that will be meeting with community members in and around the mining operations at Marikana in North West Province to discuss and take forward constructive actions to address the crises that are affecting poor communities in Marikana and across South Africa. These crises include crises in accessing food, basic health care and education for children.
For Khulumani, its participation is an expression of the continuing struggles of the organisation and its membership since its founding in 1995 by survivor victims of gross violations associated with the political struggle in the country.
Khulumani Western Cape has its office in Community House, Salt River and will join the planned 27 September 2012 celebration of 25 years of Resistance. Khulumani is proud to be associated with the organisations that share office premises at this historic centre.
Today Khulumani remembers the 35th Anniversary of the Death of Steve Biko whose thinking continues to inform and inspire struggles for social justice in the present. Khulumani youth have organised a participatory event this evening for the sharing of dialogue and poetry informed by the thinking of Steve Biko.
Nevill Alexander whose recent passing on 27 August 2012, we mourn, drew on Steve Biko's thinking himself. As Khulumani partner, Usche Merk from Medico International explains,
On Sunday, 9 September 2012, Khulumani's Australian partners are holding a film screening of Madagascar 3 as a fund-raiser for the Gogos and Mamas Group on the East Rand of Johannesburg.
A truly generative partnership has been growing between a group of Khulumani Gogos on the East Rand and a group of Australian Gogos and Mamas from Sydney, who meet regularly in support of a partnership that links both groups in a range of very interesting projects.
After a ten-year delay in enacting domestic legislation to criminalise torture in South Africa, the Draft Bill to Prevent and Combat Torture comes before the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development in Parliament today. Since the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) by the South African government on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 1998, the state has failed to date to domesticate UNCAT with the result that torture has yet to be criminalised in South Africa.