Khulumani will be following the developments on this bill with interest in the context of the threats to access to information that cold result in diminishing the hard-won right of access to information in South Africa as a constitutional right to promote transparency, openness, responsiveness and accountability in government as we try to move out of the historical practices of the secrecy of the past.
This is Khulumani's submission, dated 24 April 2012, to the Department of Justice with regards to the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995: Education Assistance and Medical Benefits Regulations (proposed DOJ amendments – March 2012).
Khulumani is commenting on the present regulations which the TRC Unit is rushing to see implemented in the words of the TRC Unit, to spend the money that is available.
Khulumani mourns this extremely limited perspective when so much is possible with the existing money in The President’s Fund and when all the submissions made for better solutions, have not been interrogated to date.
On Workers’ Day 2012, Khulumani joins the SASOL ex-workers in mourning the passing of their colleague, Mr Ntombela – and in calling on SASOL to make redress for the injustices faced by ex-workers who were illegally dismissed 25 years ago.
A former loyal employee of SASOL at its Sasolburg premises, Mr Andries Ntombela, passed away on Saturday April 28, 2012 after several weeks in hospital following a motor vehicle accident.
Mr Ntombela was 77 years old. He had given SASOL 30 years of dedicated service as a driver, safely transporting SASOL’s senior management between SASOL’s Sasolburg operations and its Rosebank, Johannesburg Head Office, before being dismissed in 1987.
On March 19 and 20, 60 participants from the East Rand and a further 140 Khulumani members from different areas of Gauteng travelled to the head office of the Department of Justice to ask for the ear of the Department in resolving many outstanding issues to which they had failed to respond over several years.
The pictures here capture the struggle of Khulumani members, active citizens who for the past 17 years have continued the struggle for comprehensive, non-discriminatory and adequate reparations; social reconciliation; against impunity and social justice.
The 200 Khulumani elders sheltered on the floor of the Anglican Cathedral halls for this advocacy action.
(CLICK ON THE ABOVE IMAGE TO READ THE ESSAY)
Khulumani members do not live in a state of the free and full enjoyment of their rights because of the reality of poverty in their lives.
The huge gap in the economy denies the proud survivors of the freedom struggle experiences, the restoration of their dignity.
This gap must be closed.
Reparations, a duty owed by the state to victims and survivors of gross human rights violations. must be honoured.
May the vision of the FREEDOM CHARTER that the wealth of the country shall be shared with all citizens, finally be fulfilled in their lifetimes.
A FRANCISCAN BLESSING
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truth and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer from pain,
Rejection, starvation and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them.
And to turn their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
Officially Offside is the movement of young Khulumani community activists who engage in activities that link the past with the present in intergenerational dialogue and who explore the use of community spaces for activities for reflective youth expression.
The evening of 25 April 2012 at 19:00, Officially Offside hosts an event in anticipation of FREEDOM DAY at Makhaya's Lounge in FIngo VIllage, Grahamstown.
Xolile Madinda of Officially Offside explains, "Acoustic Soul is a live music event hosted at Makhaya's Place in Fingo township in Grahamstown. Officially Offside was approached to assist in in conceptualising and initiating the event, a first of its kind being hosted in this most popular night joint in Grahamstown.
Khulumani's Madiba's Voices project will enable Khulumani Interactors in every province to share their monitoring of their local municipalities and their stories of successful participation in influencing the performance of local government, using mobile technology.
The project is supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation towards supporting change in political culture in South Africa towards greater participation and active citizenship.
The project will be launched shortly following a national workshop to bring together the network of Interactors, under the leadership of Xolile Madinda.
South African Government Attends Open Government Partnership Steering Committee Meeting in Brazil. Khulumani joins South African Civil Society in calling on the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee currently meeting in Brazil to:
* Ensure that the South African government reports to the OGP Steering Committee on developments regarding its commitments to re-draft the Protection of State Information legislation to bring it in line with the principles embodied in the Open Government Partnership Declaration (to which it is a founding signatory); and to
* Ensure that the South African government engages with civil society in order to develop a monitoring system for its OGP commitments.These principles are of particular concern to Khulumani Support Group which had on Friday, April 20, 2012 to raise alarms about the failures of the TRC Unit staff in the Department of Justice to honour the principles of openness, transparency and integrity in their relationship with the civil society nominees from the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice, including Khulumani Support Group, to the Technical Task Team tasked with preparing a minute for Cabinet on fulfilling reparations expectations for survivors and victims of gross human rights violations in South Africa.
Following Khulumani's participation in COP 17 in Durban in December 2011, Khulumani members have been growing in their awareness of the threats to life on earth due to human-induced climate change. Earth Day, April 22, is an opportunity to take the message home that "As individuals we're powerless against climate change. If we act as individuals we'll lose. The only way we won't is if we join together”.