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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 158

Paragraph Numbers 12 to 23

Volume 6

Section 2

Chapter 6

Subsection 2

The Healing of Memories Project

12. The Healing of Memories Project is based in Cape Town and was established to facilitate the healing process of individuals and communities. It originated as the Chaplaincy Project of the Trauma Centre and is now the Institute of Healing of Memories.

13. One of the main techniques used by the project is workshops. The workshops were developed by the Religious Response to the Commission, now the Centre for Ubuntu and the Healing of Memories.

14. Each workshop is an individual and collective journey aimed at exploring the effects of the apartheid years. The emphasis is on dealing with these issues at an emotional, psychological and spiritual – rather than at an intellectual – level. Time is given for individual reflection, creative exercises and opportunities to s h a reina small group. Typical themes that arise are anger, hope, hatred, joy, isolation, endurance and a discovery of the depths of common humanity shared. The workshops end in a liturgy / celebration .

15. The collective and uniquely spiritual focus of this initiative marks it as one of the more profound treatments of the challenge of healing.

The Khumbula Project

16. Khumbula was launched in Mbekweni, Paarl on 16 December 1998. A nongovernmental organisation registered as a Section 21 Company, Khumbula aims to address the conditions under which ex-combatants of the South African liberation struggle find themselves. It has also recently launched an educational initiative.

17. Driven by volunteers, Khumbula’s main aim is the exhumation of former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) cadres who died outside the borders of South Africa and assisting families to rebury the remains of their loved ones. A significant number of witnesses who approached the Commission requested assistance in locating and reburying their loved ones in a culturally appropriate way.

Khulumani support group

18. The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation played a significant role in the establishment of the victims’ support group commonly known as Khulumani. The philosophy behind this initiative is a belief that the violations of the apartheid era not only left deep psychological wounds in peoples’ minds, but also left people with a sense of isolation and feelings of disconnectedness. Being part of a victims’ support group was seen by many as having a therapeutic effect .

The Northern Province and Mpumalanga branches of the South African Council of Churches

19. The Mpumalanga Provincial Chapter of the South African Council of Churches played a significant role in providing emotional and spiritual support, especially during the hearings.


20. Khulumani and some representatives of the faith community have publicly campaigned for the implementation of the Commission’s Reparation and Rehabilitation policy.

21. Khulumani has not only mobilised the South African government and local business but has, in consultation with sister organisations such as Jubilee 2000, continued to emphasise the responsibility of local business and international governments and banks in respect of reparation and rehabilitation.

22. The Northern Province branch of the South African Council of Churches, under the leadership of Reverend Mautji Pataki, has also continued to play a significant role in campaigning for the restoration of the dignity of witnesses through a government-led reparation and rehabilitation programme. Their focus has been on mobilising government support at a provincial level, and exerting pressure on it to spearhead service delivery.

23. It is the Commission’s view that, while government is both legally and morally obliged to pay reparation to individual victims, the responsibility for reparations goes far wider. With regard to the financial cost of reparation, the Commission believes that business, in particular, should bear some of the burden .7 5 M ore broadly, however, other institutions of civil society, and indeed all South Africans, should be part of a national project of reparation and rehabilitation .

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