South African victims of apartheid met the Department of Justice in Pretoria on Wednesday to demand compensation for the injuries suffered during the white minority rule.
About 28 representatives of apartheid victims and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) officials met the government officials to raise their concerns.
TRC is a court-like body which was formed after apartheid to hear the stories of war time abuse and give amnesty and prosecute others. It is also to heal the wounds of apartheid and allow transition into an independent South Africa.
Siphamandla Dlamini, TRC beneficiary group leader told Xinhua that they had submitted their petition to government, asking it to fulfill its promises.
Dlamini said, “We met the government officials today to raise our concerns over non-fulfillment about their promises. Through the TRC they promised compensation, assistance with education and bursary, housing, medical aid, and community rehabilitation and that has not been done.”
There are about 16,800 apartheid victims who were supposed to get a once-off reparation grant of 2,300 U.S. dollars from the Presidential Victims Reparations Fund starting in 2005. The money was supposed to bring social and economic transformation in the lives of the survivors.
Dlamini said the TRC recommendations have not been fully implemented. The petition also includes the payment to 120,000 liberation struggle veterans.
“We gave the government five days to respond to our petition and if they fail we will call for nationwide demonstrations where our members will come from all over the country and protest in Pretoria,” he added.
Dlamini said there has been no inclusive settlement of the TRC recommendations for reparations and rehabilitations for all victims and survivors.
He said there is a danger that transgenerational transmission of trauma if the rehabilitation is not done. Some South Africans lost their arms and limbs during the liberation struggle while some were left crippled. Some lost their lives.
Xinhua failed to get a comment from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Dlamini said the government promised to study their concerns and respond. Enditem