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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 436

Paragraph Numbers 7 to 15

Volume 1

Chapter 12

Subsection 21


Commissioners allocated to region

7 As the convening commissioner, Dr Fazel Randera assumed overall responsibility for the work of the office. He was also a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee. Joint deputy chairpersons of that committee, lawyers Ms Yasmin Sooka and Mr Wynand Malan1 were based in this office. These commissioners were assisted by Human Rights Violations Committee members Dr Russell Ally, Mr Hugh Lewin and Ms Joyce Seroke.

8 Ms Hlengiwe Mkhize, a psychologist and chair of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee, was based in the office and was assisted by Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee members Mr Tom Manthatha and Professor Piet Meiring.

9 Amnesty Committee members included commissioners Ms Sisi Khampepe and Adv Chris de Jager and committee member Judge Bernard Ngoepe. Although nominally based in this office, they spent almost all of their time elsewhere.

1 Dr Malan was later re-deployed to the Amnesty Committee and replaced as vice-chairperson by Mr Richard Lyster.

10 A national staffing plan was drawn up for the entire Commission before any staff was actually employed. The plan distributed staff equally between the four regional offices, with an additional component for the national office in Cape Town. No cognisance was taken of the territory, population or extent of human rights violations each office was required to service. This meant that the Johannesburg office was, proportionally speaking, understaffed from the outset.

11 Interviews for staff were conducted in March 1996 and, by the end of April 1996, approximately 75 per cent of the envisaged staff complement had been employed. Panels of commissioners selected senior staff, and other staff were interviewed and selected by management teams (often with the participation of a commissioner).

12 One of the first groups to be employed were the statement takers, and a statement taking form and training programme was developed by a team of consultants. It soon became evident, however, that the training focused too exclusively on the psychological aspects of interacting with victims. As a result, a more legally orientated training course was developed. The statement takers were the only team in the office to receive any formal training at the beginning of their employment.

13 Almost everyone who came to work in the Johannesburg office was driven by a desire to contribute to the process of truth recovery and national reconciliation. This meant that it was possible for the office to develop a synergy in the difficult months of setting up the Commission, while the diversity of members ensured active debate on all issues.

14 Many recruits were unemployed at the time of coming to the Commission, which enabled them to start immediately. Many were young, and most had a background in statutory or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Very few came from the private sector.

15 Recruitment policy was guided by criteria of representivity and merit. During the period of fullest employment, 44 per cent of staff were men and 56 per cent were women; 55 per cent were African, 12 per cent coloured, 26 per cent white and 7 per cent Indian.

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