The Asikaqedi Campaign welcomes the news of the signing into law of the regulations to provide educational benefits for those who were unable to complete their education as a result of apartheid human rights violations, and sacrifices made in the struggle for justice and democracy. This information was made public by Dr Khotso de Wee, Chief Operations Officer of the Department of Justice on the 29 October 2014 John Perlman Show on Kaya FM that discussed the ASIKAQEDI Campaign. The long delays in introducing educational benefits for victims and survivors has been a key demand of our campaign. We congratulate Government on taking this first step towards dealing with outstanding issues facing victims and survivors.
At the same time, we note that those who eagerly await these educational benefits have not been consulted or advised as to what benefits are offered, who qualifies for them, or what processes should be followed to access these benefits. This is of particular concern as the regulations that are being promulgated address issues that been outstanding for decades. We need to know if provision only covers those recognised by the TRC, and whether benefits extend to families and dependents.
We believe that all benefits provided for victims and survivors need to be part of a broad dispensation that addresses critical issues of who qualifies for benefits and how measures fit into an overall package of restitution. We continue to uphold the principle of "no decision about us without us". We call on government to ensure that victims and survivors are fully consulted and integrated in implementation processes that put these educational benefits, and any other measures, into place.
We call on the Department of Justice to urgently inform us and South Africans about progress on these issues and specifically on processes for accessing the benefits related to educational assistance for those who were unable to compete their education because of apartheid human rights violations.
We continue to say: ASIKAQEDI. Let us finish this now.
For comment, please contact:
- Dr Marjorie Jobson, National Director, Khulumani Support Group, 082 268 0223
- Ms Judy Seidman, Acting Campaign Manager, Khulumani Support Group 072 620 6944