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National Dialogue on Reparations: A Critical Tool in Dealing with our Past and Building our Future to be held on the 4-6 December 2012

The national dialogue on reparations to be held at Dr Miriam Makeba Auditorium (UNISA Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria) on the 4-6 December 2012 will bring together survivors and victims, policy makers, government officials, legislators, NGOs, religious leaders, concerned community members and some international experts.

National Dialogue on Reparations: A Critical Tool in Dealing with our Past and Building our Future to be held on the 4-6 December 2012 at Dr Miriam Makeba Auditorium (UNISA Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria)

The South African Coalition for Transitional Justice with support from the Foundation for the Human Rights invites members of the South African and International Media to a “National Dialogue on Reparations: A Critical Tool in Dealing with our Past and in Building our Future”, scheduled to be held on the 4- 6 December 2012 in South Africa. This historic and long overdue national dialogue will be held at the Dr Mirriam Makeba Auditorium (UNISA Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria).

The national dialogue on reparations will bring together survivors and victims, policy makers, government officials, legislators, NGOs, religious leaders, concerned community members and some international experts.

This historic national dialogue takes place at critical point in South Africa’s post-apartheid path with the adoption of the National Development Plan 2030 which reminds all citizens that our progress towards eliminating poverty and reducing inequality needs to begin with effectively redressing the socio-economic injustices of the past so that every proud South African is enabled to participate in their own development and growth.

The South African Coalition for Transitional Justice comprises civil society organisations seeking to ensure that processes of truth, reconciliation and justice are respected and fully implemented in the South African post-apartheid context. The members of the coalition recognize the shortcomings of the TRC and remain committed to the recognition of the rights and needs of the survivors of South Africa's oppressive history during this reconciliation month.

South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy was facilitated by the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that was given life through the legislative provisions of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995. Its purpose was to investigate politically motivated gross human rights violations perpetrated between 1960 and 1994 to prevent the re-occurrence of these atrocities and to contribute to unifying a divided country.

The objectives of the South African national dialogue on reparations will be to:

  • Mark Ten Years  since the First National Civil Society Dialogue on Reparations held in Randburg on August 2003 and to review progress and advances in keeping faith with the transitional agreements that were made towards restoring their legitimacy,
  • To draw on lessons learned since the South African TRC introduced its reparations recommendations from subsequent developments and advances in the region and the world,
  • To develop a programme of action towards the systematic implementation of an inclusive and comprehensive reparations programme in South Africa, and
  • To develop the discussion document to be taken to National Parliament for thorough discussion in the first half of 2013.

 According to the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice the “national dialogue will provide space for reflection and for a review of strategies and processes to develop an inclusive approach to reparations amongst critical role players and stake holders, both in the state and in civil society.

The South African national dialogue on reparations aims at the following outcomes based on state commitment and responsibility to protect and promote human rights:

  • Securing consensus on the need to revisit reparations as the tool for the social inclusion of survivors and victims of apartheid atrocities
  • Refining and adopting a framework and parameters for a parliamentary debate on revisiting reparations,  and
  • Developing a process to achieve advances in reparations for the gross human rights abuses of the past, informed by and compliant with international legal considerations on reparations.

 For pre and post interviews, please contact the followings spokespersons from SACTJ:

Khulumani Support Group: Marjorie Jobson 082 268 0223 and Nomarussia Bonase 082 751 9903
HRMC: Shirley Gunn 082 450 9276
Trauma Centre for Victims of Torture and Trauma: Valdi van Reenen-le Roux 082 821 2692
ICTJ: Howard Varney 083 261 7062 and 071 672 0122
SAHA: Catherine Kennedy 072 682 6240
CSVR: Hugo van der Merwe 082 570 0744
SACTJ Media Officer: Sipho Mantula 084 781 5587

Issued by: South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ)

Member Organisations: Centre for the Study of Violence & Reconciliation (CSVR), Human Rights Media Centre (HRMC), Institute for Justice & Reconciliation (IJR), Khulumani Support Group (KSG), South African History Archives (SAHA), Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture

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