TO: All Media
ATT: News Editors, Human Rights Reporters
For immediate release
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
Foundation for Human Rights supports resolution of outstanding TRC reparations recommendations
The Foundation for Human Rights expresses its full support for the protest that the members of Khulumani Support Group from across South Africa are holding today on the 27th of April 2022 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. The statement from the Khulumani Support Group reads that the protest is aimed at telling “our democratic government that 28 years after the end of Apartheid our elected government has still not provided reparations and justice for those who suffered apartheid era crimes.”
The 27th of April 2022 is Freedom Day in South Africa and commemorates the first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. In 1994, Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa said:
“That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.”
While the elections paved the way to South Africa’s transition to democracy and the adoption of the new Constitution, many of the people who suffered gross human rights violations during apartheid, feel forgotten and indeed, betrayed.
The protest is a response to the failure by the government of South Africa to effectively implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) with respect to individual and collective reparations. Whereas the TRC developed a relatively good policy on both individual and community reparations, the implementation thereof has been far from successful. The issues include:
- The lack of the overarching policy on reparations in South Africa, which would guide the implementation of individual and collective reparations;
- The arbitrary decision by President Thabo Mbeki to lower the amount of individual reparations from R20.000 a year for a period of six years to a one-time payment of R30.000 per victim or surviving family;
- Restricting the payment of reparations to victims registered as ‘victims’ by the TRC;
- The lack of transparency and victims’ participation in developing the regulations on community reparations and rehabilitation;
- The issues around the distribution of other reparations such as education and health reparations;
- And lastly, the lack of clarity on the distribution of funds from the President’s Fund.
The Foundation for Human Rights in its individual capacity but also as part of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) has been engaging with the government on the issue of reparations for almost a decade now. There has been an apparent lack of commitment from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to engage on the matter, and the total failure of the government to develop a clear plan of action with respect to reparations.
We call on the government to meet the demands of protesters and to engage meaningfully with civil society on the issues of reparations.
For media enquiries contact:
Lindiwe Sibiya, Media and Communication Officer, FHR at email@example.com and 082 634 7154
Foundation for Human Rights
The Foundation for Human Rights is a nonprofit human rights organization that works to protect and promote human rights in South Africa. The FHR was established in 1996 to address the historical legacy of apartheid, and to promote and advance transformation and human rights based on the new constitution. The FHR implements four main human rights programs: the Constitutional Awareness and Education Programme, the Gender Based Violence Programme, the Unfinished Business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Programme, and the Community-Advice Offices Programme. Over the last two decades, the FHR has played a major role in promoting the rights of victims of apartheid crimes through supporting the recommendations of the TRC, including justice and account- ability for past crimes, reparations, and access to the TRC archives.
For more information: