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Desmond Tutu presents TRC report

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former chairman of South Africa's Truth commission, on Friday handed over a report urging beneficiaries of the apartheid system to contribute to reparations to its victims and warning against a blanket amnesty for perpetrators.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former chairman of South Africa's Truth commission, on Friday handed over a report urging beneficiaries of the apartheid system to contribute to reparations to its victims and warning against a blanket amnesty for perpetrators.

Tutu, the 1984 Nobel peace laureate, gave the final two volumes of a seven-volume report to South African President Thabo Mbeki at the Union Buildings, government headquarters, on Human Rights Day.

"We are celebrating our freedom today from the ghastly shackles and vicious injustice of an awful system. We scored a spectacular victory over an evil system," Tutu told Mbeki at the handing-over ceremony.

The two volumes urged all beneficiaries of apartheid to make a contribution to the reparation fund and recommended that the government impose a one-off wealth tax on South African businesses for it.

"The commission is of the view that ... presidential discretion should not be used to subvert the rights of victims by framing blanked amnesties through a pardon process," it said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up to probe apartheid-era crimes and grant amnesties to those who demonstrated clear repentance.

It heard testimony from about 21 000 people - both victims and perpetrators - and granted amnesty to around 1 200 while turning down some 5 500 other applications.

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