Justice Minister Penuell Maduna said in Cape Town that the justice department was in the process of preparing a set of proposals for consideration by Cabinet regarding payment. "We are doing this in consultation with the relevant department of government, and hope to make an announcement soon."
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Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad said reparations for apartheid's ravages should not be reduced to individual reparations for those who appeared before the TRC. There was not a single African family in the country that had not suffered under apartheid. "How do you make reparations to the entire black community?" The same could be said for Indian South Africans who were victims of forced removals.
Pahad was responding to a question as to whether government would soon make an announcement on reparations, as intimated by Maduna. The TRC recommended in its report that individuals who waived their right to civil action against the perpetrators of apartheid crimes should receive compensation. "Let's not keep on reducing reparations to individual reparations and to those people who appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," Pahad urged.
He echoed sentiments expressed by President Thabo Mbeki, that many of those who fought in the liberation struggle did not believe in monetary compensation for what they did. Pahad said he had advised his own father - who had lost his business in Klerksdorp because of the Group Areas Act - not to seek compensation through the TRC. He had told him "why do you want to apply... how does it help?"
Pahad repeated that the government had already made interim reparations and was waiting for the TRC's amnesty process to be concluded before the issue of final reparations could be addressed. He noted that the National Conference on Racism had also suggested that reparations should be made to those who were harmed by the racist policies of the past. "It is not a simple matter we are dealing with here," Pahad said.
- Source: Full article "TRC reparations 'progressing'" appeared on the news24.com website