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.
This video contains extracts from an interview with Dr. Khotso de Wee from the Department of Justice's TRC Unit during the SABC TV News current affairs programme, Zwa Maramani which was aired on 2 April 2013.
In the interview Dr. De Wee talks about payments and reparations due to apartheid victims as proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The YouTube link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc2ZxVyVkno
At the end of March 2013, the Legal Resources Centre sent a letter on behalf of the member organisations of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) to the Minister of Justice requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the DOJ's plans presently being implemented to disburse R500 million of the Victims' Reparation Fund, the President's Fund, into eighteen municipalities for infrastructure renovation.
BREAKING NEWS from The Philippines: Khulumani welcomes the news of the signing into effect of a new reparations law in the Philippines on the twenty-seventh anniversary of the ending of the Marcos regime.
With thanks to Mr Ruben Carranza, Director of the Reparative Justice Program of the International Center for Transitional Justice, New York.
The report, The Hidden Epidemic amongst Former Mineworkers: Silicosis, Tuberculosis and the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, produced by Jaine Roberts and published by the Health Systems Trust in June 2009, highlights the failure of the TRC's Business Hearings to hold mining companies accountable for the health impacts of their activities on mineworkers.
ICTJ podcast of an interview with ICTJ Senior Program Adviser Howard Varney, a practicing advocate at the Johannesburg Bar, who worked with the TRC and continues to represent victims of past conflicts in the courts of South Africa to vindicate their rights.
The National Dialogue on Reparations: A Critical Tool in Dealing with our Past & in Building our Future that will be held in Pretoria on 4, 5 and 6 December 2012.