About 100 elderly apartheid victims from the Khulumani Support Group marched to parliament this week to discuss reparations with Justice Minister Penuel Maduna, but they vowed to continue with legal proceedings against the ministry.
Abstracts from article:
Members of the Khulumani group of victims who had taken part in the TRC process waited for about an hour outside the gates of parliament before they were told that Maduna would meet them if they made an appointment. The group fears that the government has set aside the TRC's recommendations for individual reparations.
Shirley Gunn, chairperson of Khulumani in the Western Cape, said all they wanted was for the government to discuss with them the reparations due to victims. She said all efforts to get access to policy papers and a draft Bill on reparations, which is apparently being discussed by the cabinet, have failed. Khulumani has asked a lawyer to prepare a court case against Maduna for failing to accede to their requests.
Justice committee chairperson Johnny de Lange wrote to the victims promising that the government would process final reparations for victims as fast as possible after it had received the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) final report. De Lange's letter to victims was an effort to explain the constraints on the government and parliament to make final reparations. De Lange stressed that the state was exempt from disclosure of information "where a policy is being developed - until such policy has been finalised".
Maduna said last month that he would fight any court action against him and made it clear that the Act does not allow for access to draft Bills. "I want them to go to court and litigate at their own cost," Maduna said. "I will go for the jugular, I will fight. People must be disciplined and responsible." Maduna's spokesperson Paul Setsetse promised the victims this week that he would set up a meeting with the minister.
- Source: Full article "Khulumani considers legal action against Justice ministry" appeared on the Independant Online iol.co.za website