A programme on reparation to victims of human rights abuses was aired last Wednesday on Radio 786 in the Prime Talk slot at 9.20pm.
Abstracts from article:
The panel included Hlengiwe Mkhize, the chairperson of the Reparation and Reconciliation Committee, and Zenzile Khoisan, a former TRC investigator, journalist and radio presenter of Bushman Beat on Bush Radio. Also on the panel was Duma Khumalo, who represented Khulumani Support Group for the victims of apartheid human rights abuses, and Professor Jeremy Sarkin of the Law Faculty at UWC.
Khoisan was bitter about a process which favoured the perpetrators rather than the victims. He couldn’t stop complaining about the lawyers who made a lot of money from the state defending the perpetrators.
His views were echoed by Khumalo who stated that most of the victims felt more frustrated and traumatised after testifying at the TRC because of the delay in payment of urgent reparations. Those who are classified victims were sent from pillar to post when they applied for assistance, Khumalo added.
These victims were made to believe, Khumalo continued, that if they went to the TRC, the government would be responsible for them but many never received even emergency payments. Victims still visit Khulumani and the TRC’s regional offices in desperation.
Mkhize maintained that the hands of her Reparation and Reconciliation Committee were tied because the government hadn’t resolved the issue of longer-term assistance. Mkhize confessed that some government officials didn’t understand the process and so were fighting the victims – victims being victimised all over again.
Khoisan was concerned that this treatment would lead to anger, resentment and bitterness among the victims.
- Source: Full article “Tune in to topical community radio” appeared on the Independant Online iol.co.za website