Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report

South African Parliament 27 February 2003 13:16

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report is expected to be handed to President Thabo Mbeki next month and will be immediately tabled in Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala said on Thursday.

The report was due to have been handed over last year, but was delayed after court action by the Inkatha Freedom Party. An out of court settlement was reached earlier this year, which will see the IFP disputing some of the TRC's findings and stating its case in a separate annexure.

Ginwala told the National Assembly's programme committee that Mbeki had indicated he would be available on April 15 and 16 for parliamentary business and that a debate on the TRC report should be provisionally scheduled for then.

Last week, Justice Minister Penuell Maduna said the issue of those who had failed to apply for amnesty from the TRC would have to be confronted soon and that parties should deal it during the debate on the report.

The government has also said it is unable to move on reparations for victims of gross human rights abuses until the report is tabled and debated. The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation on Wednesday criticised Finance Minister Trevor Manuel for failing to make provision for reparations in his 2003 Budget.

"It is deeply disappointing that there is no relief in sight to ease painful memories. We expected this budget to bring closure to this matter," the Institute said in a statement.

"Instead it reinforces a sense of inadequate acknowledgement of those that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) declared to be victims of gross human rights violations." Late last year, the government reported it had made reparation payments of R50-million to 18 000 people for harm they suffered under apartheid, as an interim measure in line with recommendations by the TRC. - Sapa