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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 17

Paragraph Numbers 1 to 8

Volume 6

Section 1

Chapter 2

Subsection 1

Volume SIX Section ONE Chapter T W O

Administrative Report

■ INTRODUCTION

1. The objective of this chapter is to give as clear a picture as possible of the administrative procedures, mechanisms and functions of the Amnesty Committee (the Committee). The functions of the executive secretary as administrative head of the Committee were integrated with those of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission) during 1997 and performed by the same person, but this section deals mainly with the affairs of the Committee. A separate report is presented on the duties of the CEO.

2. For the sake of completeness, this section should be read with the CEO’s report and with the earlier Management Report of the Committee, which formed part of the Commission’s Final Report that was handed to the President in October 1998.2 0

3. This chapter offers an overview of the amnesty process from the perspectives of the executive secretary and later the CEO. The provisions of the Act will be reflected upon insofar as they related to the administration and management of, especially, the amnesty process. Reference is also made to the development of the administration and amnesty process since 1996. The contents are based on a variety of documents, including the minutes of the meetings of the Committee since its establishment, internal memoranda, the minutes of meetings of the various components of the Commission and management, as well as inputs from the departments and sections concerned .

ESTABLISHING THE COMMITTEE

4. Section 16 of the Act provided for the establishment of the Committee as one of the three statutory Committees of the Commission. Its mandate was to grant amnesty to those persons who successfully applied for amnesty in respect of acts, omissions and offences that had been associated with political objectives and committed in the course of the conflicts of the past. One of the basic premises was that national unity and reconciliation would become possible only if the truth about past human rights violations became known (see Chapter One of this volume).

20 Volume One, Chapter Te n .
HOW THE AMNESTY COMMITTEE WAS CONSTITUTED
The Committee: An overview

5. In terms of section 17 of the Act, the Committee initially consisted of only five members, two of whom had to be Commissioners. President Nelson Mandela appointed Judge Hassen Mall and Judge Andrew Wilson as chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively and Judge Bernard Ngoepe as the third member. After consultation with the Commission, the President appointed Commissioners Sisi Khampepe and Chris de Jager as members of the Committee.

6. These five members had to attend to the setting up of the Committee and deal with all applications for amnesty received. Due to the large volume of work and in order to expedite the process, the membership of the Committee was subsequently increased to eleven in June 1997 and to nineteen during December 1997. All members were legally qualified, being judges of the High Court, advocates and attorneys. The President dissolved the Committee with effect from 31 May 2001 in terms of Proclamation R31 dated 23 May 2001.

7. Despite the increase in numbers, the Committee never experienced the benefit of its full complement of nineteen members for any significant period of time. This was due to the resignation of some members to take up other positions, and poor health on the part of others. Moreover, the limited lifespan of the Committee made it impractical to fill these vacancies. The Committee also suffered the loss of its chairperson, Judge Hassen Mall, who passed away on 18 August 1999. He was replaced as chairperson by Judge Andrew Wilson, and Acting Judge Denzil Potgieter was appointed vice-chairperson.

The following persons served with distinction on the Committee: Judge H Mall 1 5 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 5 – 1 8 / 0 8 / 1 9 9 9 Judge A Wilson 1 5 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 5 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Judge B Ngoepe 1 5 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 5 – 0 1 / 0 7 / 1 9 9 8 Ms S Khampepe 1 5 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 5 – 3 1 / 0 3 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate C de Jager SC 1 5 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 5 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate D Potgieter SC 0 1 / 0 7 / 1 9 9 7 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate N Sandi 0 1 / 0 7 / 1 9 9 7 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Mr W Malan 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 9 9 7 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate J Motata 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 9 9 7 – 3 1 / 0 1 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate L Gcabashe 0 1 / 1 2 / 1 9 9 7 – 3 0 / 0 8 / 1 9 9 9 Judge S Miller 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 2 8 / 0 2 / 2 0 0 1 Judge R Pillay 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Judge S Ngcobo 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 0 1 / 0 1 / 1 9 9 9 Advocate F Bosman 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Advocate S Sigodi 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1 Mr JB Sibanyoni 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 1 / 0 3 / 2 0 0 1 Dr WM Tsotsi 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 9 9 9 Mr J Moloi 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 0 1 / 0 7 / 1 9 9 8 Mr I Lax 0 5 / 0 2 / 1 9 9 8 – 3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 0 1

 
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