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Poverty compounded by Apartheid

Khulumani Support Group applauds former South African President Nelson Mandela's statement that: "In this new century, millions of people in the world's poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural." [Pretoria News, 4 February 2005]

  1. Khulumani Support Group applauds former South African President Nelson Mandela's statement that: "In this new century, millions of people in the world's poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural." [Pretoria News, 4 February 2005]

  2. And of course, poverty is compounded by evils such as slavery and apartheid. Despite apartheid being pronounced a "crime against humanity" by the UN as long ago as 1968, many international businesses continued to invest in the apartheid regime, thus aiding, abetting and profiting from this crime.

  3. In South Africa, these international businesses turned down the opportunity to make representations to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), thus effectively granting themselves a "blanket amnesty."

  4. The TRC also stated that reconciliation would not be possible without reparations and rehabilitation. Five years after the TRC submitted its final report containing recommendations for reparations each of the identified victims who appeared received a once-off reparations payment of R30 000,00, around one sixth of the amount recommended by the TRC.

  5. No provision was made for those victims of gross humans right abuses who did not appear before the TRC for a multitude of reasons, and victims who became mentally disabled as a result of their experiences of torture, rape, etc., were excluded. The TRC's recommendation that a wealth tax be considered was not accepted.

  6. Many of the now elderly mothers of the "disappeared" who are still searching for the remains of their children murdered by the apartheid security forces are not only imprisoned by poverty but by their need to know exactly what happened to their children and to put their children's remains to rest. For some mothers, it is already too late.

  7. Many of the now elderly mothers of the "disappeared" who are still searching for the remains of their children murdered by the apartheid security forces are not only imprisoned by poverty but by their need to know exactly what happened to their children and to put their children's remains to rest. For some mothers, it is already too late.

  8. Khulumani Support Group was established in 1995 as a voice for the victims of apartheid. It is a membership organisation of some 30 to 40 000 victims and survivors of, as well as victors over apartheid. But the majority of the organisation's membership are, as President Mandela stated, still "trapped in the prison of poverty."

  9. It's time to set them free. In November 2002, the Khulumani International Lawsuit was lodged in New York to bring to account the international corporations that aided and abetted apartheid. They profited directly through colluding and collaborating with the security forces in the oppression of South African citizens.

  10. Khulumani has filed notice to appeal the dismissal by Judge Sprizzo of its case in the lower District Court and the appeal is now set to be taken to the higher Second Circuit Court. The case is being supported by the legal team which recently achieved a settlement against UNOCAL for human rights abuses committed in Burma (Myanmar) on grounds of aiding and abetting.

  11. However, the members and associate members of Khulumani Support Group, and the majority of South Africans do not need a foreign court to validate their knowledge of how these businesses profited from apartheid and gross human rights violations.

  12. Whether or not the Khulumani International Lawsuit succeeds, we believe it is now time for all those businesses that profited from apartheid and the sequelae of apartheid, to voluntarily contribute towards the redress and the rehabilitation of our members.

  13. We call on all members of the public, rich and poor, who wish to show their support for this cause to contribute decorated or plain safety pins to the Khulumani National office, or to the Provincial offices. The safety pins will be combined into a large-scale artwork to be unveiled at a ceremony in Cape Town on 16 December 2005. Messages can be attached to the safety pins as requested. Details are available from our office, or by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

  14. It's time to "Say Yes to Redress!" and to rehabilitation in order to set our members and others free, not only from poverty but from the compounding effects of gross human rights abuses and apartheid crimes.

  15. We urge all members of the public who would like to become Associate Members of Khulumani Support Group, to sign up via our website: www.khulumani.net.

Say Yes to Redress!
RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS THROUGH REDRESS

Issued by: Marjorie Jobson, Chairperson: Khulumani Support Group, on behalf of The Khulumani International Lawsuit Campaign.

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