Sixty delegates who had researched reparations came from Switzerland, Germany, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa to attend the conference that is to precede a larger reparations conference later this year.
Abstracts from article:
The meeting was convened by Jubilee 2000 South Africa, the South African Graduates’ Development Association, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, the Khulumani Support Group and the Human Rights Committee. The meeting was the result of a declaration made in November last year by Dennis Brutus, the South African author and activist whose public declaration that he was to file for reparations struck a chord in many.
Brutus, a professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, planned to file for reparations for the injury he suffered in 1963 from a bullet wound by the police and for his imprisonment on Robben Island. Brutus said: “In my request for reparation I have stressed that I would not want the money to come to me personally but to go into a reparations fund to be used by others to pursue their legal issues.”
Art Serota, an American attorney working with Jubilee 2000 South Africa and who has been involved in the anti-apartheid movement since the 1970s, is the author of the book Ending Apartheid in America, which makes a case for reparations in the United States. He described the compensatory and punitive aspect of reparations. He cited several historical examples of reparations, such as those paid by Germany to the victims of the Holocaust and those recently paid by Poland to Polish citizens whose lands were confiscated earlier last century.
The workshops would explore what claims could be made against the Swiss and German governments and banks for the role they played in apartheid.
- Source: Full article “Apartheid era debt, amends put on agenda” appeared on the Independant Online iol.co.za website