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Khulumani dismayed by possible "back-door amnesties"

AmnestyThe Khulumani Support Group is alarmed that an alleged "back-door amnesty" process is possibly being considered by government.Many of the perpetrators who received amnesty have also received handsome pension payouts, as well as medical and psychological treatment at the State's expense. "

The Khulumani Support Group is alarmed that an alleged "back-door amnesty" process is possibly being considered by government.

  1. Khulumani is the voice of over 40,000 victims of apartheid human rights abuses. Each time a further amnesty is granted, more of these people lose their rights to make civil claims for compensation. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recognised just over 20,000 identified victims. Khulumani's membership which has grown exponentially in the last few years, consists both of identified victims - and those victims who for a variety of reasons were unable to present their stories to the TRC.

  2. Many of the perpetrators who received amnesty have also received handsome pension payouts, as well as medical and psychological treatment at the State's expense.

  3. The identified victims have in the mean time been granted reparations of R30,000.00 each, and no medical or psychological support, apart from that which they may or may not obtain at their own expense, or through support groups such as Khulumani.

  4. These discrepancies are blatantly unjust and do not reflect the proclaimed ethos of South Africa a decade into democracy. "Ten years of Freedom" has become "Ten years of (longing for) Freedom" for many Khulumani members. Many of the victims of the struggle (and their families) are now poor, discarded "foot soldiers of liberation".

  5. For example, the mothers of the Nietverdiend Tien and the KwaNdebele Nine and other groups of mothers, are unable to find peace while the remains of their murdered children are not returned to them. The victims of torture are unable to find healing when they are confronted everyday in their villages by their torturers - who have swapped old SAP uniforms for new SAPS ones.

  6. Victims who became mentally ill following human rights abuses were not included in the TRC processes, but are daily reminders to their family members of the injustices of the past.

  7. Our country's leaders have been said to state that "we have let the past bury the past". If any sort of "back-door amnesty" is to be considered, then surely some sort of "back-door reparations" should also be considered for those identified and unidentified victims of the struggle whose apartheid-ravaged lives have not yet been rehabilitated. It is worth remembering that in the TRC's final report, it was stated that reconciliation would only be possible through reparations and rehabilitation.

  8. Khulumani Support Group calls on all South Africans to participate in the rehabilitation of the lives of those who helped make this democracy possible, but who now find themselves in dire circumstances.

On December 16 2004, Khulumani will be launching its "Say Yes to Redress" campaign at Constitution Hill between 11:00 and 15:00. For further information contact: Khulumani Projects Coordinator, Ms Wendy Sadie or Khulumani Public Education Officer, Ms Thandi Shezi Tel: (011) 403 4098.

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