For NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2012, Khulumani will highlight the country's 'Reparations Deficit' as a MAJOR HUMAN RIGHTS OMISSION in a Democratic South Africa.
Thousands of victims and survivors of gross human rights violations associated with the 'conflicts of the country's past' have yet to receive reparations despite their being recognised in the Preamble of the Constitution as those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land. The delays in provision of adequate reparations by the State as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) are untenable. The passing of every day severely prejudices these victims and their dependants. Many are dying. Victims and survivors have a legitimate expectation that they should be consulted meaningfully by the State in determining policies to fairly and non-arbitrarily provide inclusive and comprehensive reparations.
On Monday, March 19, 2012, Khulumani members will converge outside the Pretoria Station at 12:00 to process to the National Department of Justice in the Momentum Building at 329 Pretorius Street, Pretoria where the delegation will hand over a memorandum to officials of the Minister's office at 14:00. The memorandum details many outstanding issues as far as the state's obligation to make reparation to all victims who suffered apartheid-era gross human rights violations. These violations were defined by the TRC. On Tuesday, March 20 2012, after an all-night occupation of the atrium of Momentum Building, the delegation will process to the Union Buildings to hand over a memorandum to officials of the Office of the President. A call for responses to the hundreds of queries lodged by victims with the Presidential Hotline will be made.
Under the banner Close the Gaps of Injustices – REPARATIONS NOW, the delegation will call on the Presidency and the Department of Justice to embrace a working partnership with victims and survivors. The urgent implementation of an effective and inclusive reparations policy and processes for all victims and survivors who meet the TRC criteria for victims of gross human rights violations is required. The policy cannot incorporate only those identified by the TRC with a 'TRR' number. Khulumani and member organisations of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice reject the Department of Justice's May 2011 proposed regulations for medical and educational assistance to only TRC-identified victims. Khulumani and its partners have yet to receive formal responses to the substantive comments they tabled with the Department of Justice on June 8, 2011.
Khulumani rejects the continuing arbitrary discrimination between those who made sacrifices in the struggle. Military struggle veterans and non-military struggle veterans (who did not carry weapons but played a pivotal role in bringing freedom to our land), must not be considered separately. The awarding of 'Special Pensions' has been flawed by prolonged delays, lack of transparency, political bias and multiple instances of fraud and corruption that are being investigated.
Khulumani demands REPARATIONS NOW!
For comment, please contact:
Ms Nomarussia Bonase on 082 751 9903
Dr Marjorie Jobson on 082 268 0223