CAPE TOWN: Members of the Khulumani Support Group embarked on a national protest outside the National Assembly in Cape Town on Wednesday calling on the government to honour the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and handed to former president Nelson Mandela almost 23 years ago.
The Khulumani Support Group calls themselves a social movement in South Africa transforming victims of apartheid atrocities into active citizens.
Holding placards reading, “We demand reparations to Apartheid victims now” and “Stop paying millions to perpetrators who killed our families while we get nothing”, the picketers are calling on the Department of Justice to make good on the recommendations made by the TRC.
Khulumani Support Group embarked on a national protest on October 20 - 23 years and nine days after the TRC report was handed over to then President Mandela - demanding reparations, justice, redress and delivery of unfulfilled promises of a national consultative process regarding individual and community reparations.
On Wednesday, 88 Khulumani Support Group members, mostly from the East Rand, ended up holding a sleepover night at Constitution Hill.
The group is demanding that reparations of not less than R1 million be paid to all victims and survivors of apartheid.
The group is mostly made out of women, especially elderly, and some men living with disabilities.
They say they want government to fulfil promises made 23 years ago.
The Khulumani Support Group said on Thursday that they wanted to remind President Cyril Ramaphosa that it was them who saved his life in 1993 at Katlehong.
According to the group, there are pictures online showing civilians whisking Ramaphosa to safety.
Shirley Gunn, the chairperson of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice and a long-standing member of the Khulumani National Board, said Wednesday’s picket outside Parliament was a symbolic event as they stood in solidarity with those who were demanding justice,and who were mainly in the Gauteng region.
“This is the first time that we have taken to Parliament to raise our placards and raise our concerns over this injustice,” said Gunn.
She said that they were calling on the justice minister for a full consultation, and to take their plight seriously.
Gunn says after sending out a number of letters to the department, they have not received any feedback from the government.
“It’s urgent; the issues can’t be wished away, they have to be dealt with in an accountable manner,” added Gunn.
According to Cape Town organisers of the planned picket, the turnout wasn’t very large, with a taxi having arrived from the two branches, namely Philippi and Khayalitsha, as they held their protest outside the National Assembly.
Gunn said that the Khulumani base has been active for decades, and that they have supported those who are calling on the government to address their concerns.
She added that since the TRC report was handed over to the government, none of the recommendations had been actioned, adding that these recommendations could not be shelved forever.
Gunn says they are calling for prosecutions to take place and community reparations.
African News Agency (ANA)