PRESS STATEMENT Issued by Khulumani National Director 082 268 0223
The extraordinary patience of survivors and family members of victims of apartheid gross human rights violations including some 16,800 beneficiaries of the once-off reparations grant of R30,000 paid out from The President’s Fund (the Victims’ Reparations Fund) starting in 2005, will be tested again today when a delegation of beneficiaries of this limited grant, gather at the premises of the Department of Justice in the Momentum Building at 323 Pretorius Street, Pretoria from 10:00 am. They are demanding action for all struggle veterans who suffered gross human rights violations in the struggle for a new South Africa.
The officials in the TRC Unit of the DOJ continue to turn their backs on those they were directed to assist, while organizing ways of disbursing the remaining funds in The President’s Fund (now some R1,9 billion) which was designed to provide the basic means for survivors of these harms to experience social and economic transformation in their lives.
Our demand is that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development end their discriminatory practices of unfair administrative action and unfair discrimination against victims and survivors of apartheid gross human rights violations by uncaring officials of the national government.
In the twelve years since the establishment of the TRC Unit within the Department, the TRC’s recommendations have yet to be fully implemented. It is incomprehensible that a post-apartheid government continues to neglect and disregard struggle veterans in this country.
An actuarial projection of the number of beneficiaries of the reparations and rehabilitation grant funding is 120,000 struggle veterans. These veterans put their lives on the line over years of activism towards bringing into being the vision of a just, inclusive and peaceful society in which all people are provided with the conditions for their well-being. The profound trust placed by veterans in the government it helped bring to power, has been almost completely eroded as these struggle veterans live with a sense of profound disappointment accompanied by lingering and unresolved suffering and trauma. The political leaders of today seem to have forgotten how hard-won this liberation was, and how the Preamble of the 1996 Constitution vows never to forget the cost of this struggle and to honour all who suffered for justice and freedom in South Africa
There is still no comprehensive plan to provide for an inclusive settlement of the TRC’s recommendations for reparations and rehabilitation for all victims and survivors of these apartheid atrocities and their dependents and family members. Since the TRC closed for victims in 1998, victims and survivors have been developing their capacities to use the expected resources and rehabilitation measures so as to prevent the transgenerational transmission of trauma, and provide a means for the restoration of their dignity, their lives and their livelihoods. This is amongst the most scandalous of realities of post-apartheid governance in South Africa.
- TRC Beneficiaries Group Leaders: Siphomandla 063 200 3015 & Thabile 079 506 8852