As Khulumani groups across the country agitated for responses by government to its unceasing advocacy over the past 16 years for processes of securing justice and healing for victims of apartheid gross human rights violations, and as Khulumani groups prepared for a National Day of Action for Redress, Reparations, Restitution and Justice on 27 March 2014, the organisation received an invitation to meet with officials in the office of the Director-General in The Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi.
IN NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH, KHULUMANI REQUESTS AN URGENT RESPONSE TO ITS UNCEASING ADVOCACY FOR JUSTICE, REDRESS, REPARATIONS & REHABILITATION
WE DEMAND REPARATION, REHABILITATION, AND REDRESS TO THE DAMAGE DONE TO OUR LIVES, in our apartheid past, and through the subsequent failure of our elected government to provide restitution and justice.
Khulumani is anticipating participating in a multi-country comparative study into the needs of individuals and their families injured as a result of political violence in South Africa. Previous studies conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Surrey have focused on identifying the needs of victims of the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland and of their carers. One respondent in that study pointed out that “People who suffer from injuries are made to look like beggars if we need help. Doctors and government say it’s our past and we have to move on. This is our present.”
On 29 November 2013, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development published in the Government Gazette a set of draft regulations for community rehabilitation.
The period for public comments closed on 31 January 2014. Khulumani welcomes the range of submissions from concerned organisations and individuals who expressed their views about the ways in which these regulations largely fail to afford to victims of apartheid atrocities, the human rights protected in both South African and international law.
“DURING apartheid we suffered because we were black; now we suffer because we don’t have money,” said Beauty Mantashe, among protesters outside Parliament decrying the government’s failure to assist victims of apartheid violence.
Organised by the Khulumani Support Group, about 50 protesters, most elderly women, braved cold and wet weather yesterday.
Khulumani is campaigning for the government to compensate victims from the President’s Fund, set up on the instructions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The President’s Fund was established in 2003 under President Thabo Mbeki to compensate apartheid victims. It has accumulated over a billion rands. Nevertheless, many apartheid victims who were identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to receive compensation from this fund, have still received nothing. Some have died waiting.
The fund was established in 2003 in terms of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, more commonly known as the TRC Act.