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ANC urged to assist former freedom fighters

TRCThe Khulumani Victims of Apartheid Support Group has lambasted the ANC's Polokwane resolution for not providing financial assistance to former freedom fighters. It says millions of ordinary South Africans, who also helped end apartheid, have been left out in the cold and are languishing in squalid conditions. The group, representing nearly 60 000 claimants for reparations, is currently in the process of suing 11 major foreign multi-nationals for allegedly aiding and abetting the apartheid regime.
One of the ANC's Polokwane resolutions is to give financial support to former freedom fighters. But the group says this falls far short of embracing the TRC's goal of attaining national reconciliation. The MK Veterans' Association has defended the move, saying many countries provide assistance to their military veterans. The proposed support fund by the ANC would also accommodate veterans from all liberation movements.

Khulumani also claims an estimated R700 million support fund for victims of apartheid, situated in the Presidency, is inaccessible. After numerous enquiries, the Department of Justice was unable to reply to questions verifying the exact size of the fund and how it works.

The equally sensitive issue of land reform also came under the spotlight on the second day of the TRC conference taking place in Cape Town. A land reform expert, Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza, says: “The inequality that exists currently between white ownership and black poverty, resulting from land dispossession … is too huge and requires radical action.”

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