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.
Khulumani Support Group has welcomed the engagement with Commissioners from the Inquiries and Hearings Committee of the Ivorian Truth Commission. The delegation comprises five Commissioners - Mrs Goffri Kouame Kra, Dr Marie-Paule Kodjo, Mr Nevry Roger, Mr Theophile Toudou and Dr Alain-Pascal Mennan.
The Commissioners are currently involved in hearings processes taking place in Cote d'Ivoire and have come to South Africa to explore issues related to procedural standards for conducting hearings of victims and / or perpetrators and to learn about the provision of assistance to victims and protection to witnesses, if it should be necessary.
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.