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Acknowledge the invisible heroes of the struggle on the ANC’s 100th anniversary!

On the eve of the Mangaung Commemorations of the 100th Anniversary of the ANC, proudly proclaimed as the world's oldest liberation movement, Khulumani Support Group congratulates the ANC on this significant anniversary. We wish the ANC well for its year of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of those who contributed to bringing down the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Khulumani had hoped to contribute positively to these celebrations and requested exhibition space to showcase the contributions and sacrifices made by the many thousands of South Africans who served as community political activists in the mass struggle. It could be argued that without the support of ANC sympathisers who were not ANC members, liberation would not have been achieved. Khulumani believes that the celebrations must also acknowledge these largely invisible heroes of the struggle. Khulumani however received no response to its correspondence with the ANC officials organising the Mangaung commemoration.

As a movement of victims and survivors of the consequences of being anti-apartheid activists over the past decades, Khulumani regrets this lack of responsiveness of the officials of the ANC. The impression created is that they are not prepared to consider the significant contributions made by individuals and organisations whose lives reflected truly 'selfless service' towards the achievement of a transition to democracy in South Africa.

Khulumani encourages the ANC to create opportunities during the course of this year's celebrations to acknowledge these myriad contributions and to address many unresolved issues related to our nation's past. This should ideally be done with the input and even guidance of the only national movement of victims and survivors of apartheid atrocities in South Africa – Khulumani Support Group.

Just as the ANC lives with its 100 years today, the apartheid past still has a major impact on the present for thousands of victims and survivors of apartheid gross human rights abuses (including ANC members). These issues have not yet been adequately or appropriately addressed despite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC's) recommendations. Khulumani will continue to engage the President and his officials on the most effective ways to deal with this issue of social injustice being perpetuated by government itself.

The centenary is an opportune time for government to decisively re-engage with the unfinished business of the TRC; to amend the TRC Act (Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995) so as to officially recognise the many thousands of victims and survivors of apartheid-era gross human rights abuses and violations who were not 'identified' as such by the TRC; to extend reparations, rehabilitation and redress to all those who have not yet recovered from the ravages of apartheid gross human rights atrocities. In celebrating the ANC's centenary let us also celebrate so many others whose contributions facilitated the liberation of our country. Reconciliation without justice is an incomplete reconciliation.

Khulumani looks forward to meaningful dialogue and collaboration in this significant year of the ANC's centenary.

Issued by Marjorie Jobson, National Director, Khulumani Support Group, Mobile: +27 82 268 0223

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