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Background to Khulumani victim surveys

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee's statement taking may have ended in 1998, but this was only the start for the majority of apartheid victims and survivors of gross human rights abuses to come forward and submit statements about the atrocities of the past that changed their lives forever.


Only hearing about the TRC after the fact, victims continued to approach different offices of the Department of Justice (DoJ) in 1999 to submit their statements. In many cases they were advised by DoJ staff to approach the Khulumani Support Group; a trend that continued for several years.

Victims and survivors of gross human rights abuses have signed up as Khulumani members since its inception in 1995. With the close of the TRC the movement realised the need for ongoing data gathering on its members' participation in the TRC; and it therefore conducted a TRC Reparation Survey in 1999-2001.

It became increasingly clear at that stage that victims of apartheid atrocities have immediate and very urgent needs and that the TRC process had been completely limited in its scope and impact. Khulumani conducted a pilot Community Needs Assessment survey in 2001-2002 in Gauteng. At the end of 2002 a consolidated membership database was developed with just under 1,000 members from Gauteng and 4,500 members from the Western Cape.

A nationwide Needs Assessment Survey (NAS) was launched in 2003. The survey forms also serve as application forms to become members of the Khulumani Support Group. The data collected through NAS forms and supporting documentation has provided Khulumani and the nation with invaluable and critical information on the profiles and needs of tens of thousands of individuals and their families, and dozens of marginalised communities in all nine provinces of South Africa.



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