Only 17,000 apartheid victims compensated

There are concerns that the process to compensate victims of apartheid is too slow.

Former commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza earlier this week said he had nearly given up hope that government would pay out money set aside to compensate victims.

Khulumani Support Group's Dr Marjorie Jobson said she had four sessions with the Department of Justice, where she explained how compensation could be fast-tracked.

Jobson says there is R1.5 billion remaining in the president's fund, adding there are very serious obstacles to the use of this money.

She says around 80,000-100,000 people need compensation urgently.

A few people [the 17,000], qualified for the first grant of R30,000 and subsequently, they qualify for educational assistance, which is significant. That's almost R70,000 a year for a family member of an original victim to attend university or a training college.

Dr Marjorie Jobson, Khulumani Support Group

The biggest problem is people who fought the struggle have been completely excluded by poverty because there has been no remedy given by the Justice Department, Jobson explains.

All over the world, it is accepted that you cannot have a limited TRC process. There has to be a follow on and ongoing registration and compensation paid. Our Department of Justice has failed to produce regulations to allow that.

Dr Marjorie Jobson, Khulumani Support Group

Jobson goes on to say they are sitting with some very worrying regulations for community reparations, which is limited only to sites named in the TRC report, which is only 128 communities.

She says those communities comprise of people who were able to reach the TRC, through their own resources.

Jobson adds the poorest who were the most victimised, who had no resources, were excluded.

This is a serious problem. We propose that this is now moved to the SA Human Rights Commission and that a new process is initiated, using data compiled by Khulumani over 22 years.

Dr Marjorie Jobson, Khulumani Support Group

Take a listen to the full interview in the clip below:

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