Lawyer’s Letter to DOJ regarding the President Fund Disbursement presently underway
Written by khulumani.net
At the end of March 2013, the Legal Resources Centre sent a letter on behalf of the member organisations of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) to the Minister of Justice requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the DOJ’s plans presently being implemented to disburse R500 million of the Victims’ Reparation Fund, the President’s Fund, into eighteen municipalities for infrastructure renovation.
The SACTJ has repeatedly alerted the DOJ that the Victims’ Reparation Fund is a vital source of funds to provide remedies to all the victims of apartheid gross human rights violations. There are an estimated 100,000 victims of apartheid gross human rights violations who have never received remedies for the injuries they sustained.
In this context, Khulumani strongly opposes the proposed diversion of funds needed for victims into municipalities who have access to special municipal infrastructure grants for infrastructure renovation.
We regret the continuing refusal of the DOJ to prioritise providing funds for effective remedies for victims. We will also alert all those who contributed resources into The President’s Fund of the current actions of the DOJ. These included contributions from the government of the Netherlands (some R345 million), of Denmark and of Switzerland as well as individual donations from Archibishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Ms Mary Burton and Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize. All the contributors planned for their contributions to directly contribute to redressing the harms sustained by victims of gross human rights violations.
The SACTJ may be forced to apply to court to bring an urgent interdict to stop this unfortunate action by a TRC Unit whose actions reflect a lack of compassion for the ongoing struggles of victims with continuing suffering and a struggle for survival. Please join us in rising your voice against this seemingly callous development.