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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 36

09:59The Truth and Reconciliation process is not really about the past. We only need to understand yesterday so we can deal with today and tomorrow. The people of Oudtshoorn understood this; they asked the Truth Commission for a special hearing so they could express their feelings and ideas about the past and the future of their community. That is what happened at the very first hearing held by the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee this past week.Full Transcript and References
10:28Perhaps this is the real spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a day requested by and devoted to the communities of Bongulethu and Bridgton in Oudtshoorn. A day to speak not only about their pain and anger but also about their hopes and dreams. There were many unique features to this extraordinary hearing. For the first time ever it was communities and not individuals who came to tell their stories and they did so not only with words and statements but also with an exhibition, with song and serious group discussion. Churches, youth, the families of victims, women and the media were given time to speak in their own voices of what they want from the present to overcome the past. // Times have changed. I belong to the Methodist Church. I only serve my congregation, Piet serves only his congregation. He has nothing to do with other people. White, Black and Brown … with God there is no difference. // We now have to interact on a different level where we have to read the ...moreFull Transcript
13:12By the end of the day the communities of Bridgton and Bongulethu had given their way forward and the Truth Commission’s Committee had taken note. // It was also asked that these people who died in the apartheid era have a monument dedicated to them. It was also asked that the women sit down and launch a bursary fund that money be used so that students who did matric and whose parents cannot afford to send them to tertiary institutions be assisted.Full Transcript
13:50And then obviously the question around medical treatment, people who still have bullet wounds, people who still suffer at a physical level should be given medical treatment and those people also suffering from psychological continuing problems, they should also be given help.Full Transcript
14:08In terms of our history it was also felt again that the children need to know the history of this place and in that respect the exhibition can be continued and be expanded. More people need to be drawn into writing the history of Oudtshoorn so that children can go and know that Oudtshoorn wasn’t always like it is today. There was one Oudtshoorn, people used to be integrated, used to live next to each other in town and the children can learn where their fathers and grandfathers and mothers went to church and school and so on.Full Transcript
14:45It is necessary to bring together perpetrators and victims and sufferers. It’s all nice to talk about this and pay lip service to the idea until actual people are being identified as perpetrators or victims and then the question is would these specific individuals, will they be willing to meet? The local ministers felt that this would actually be possible.Full Transcript
15:10This has been an incredible day. I was terribly impressed that the Oudtshoorn community in the discussions was not saying to the Truth Commission, we wait for you to solve our problems. In fact, people were very aggressive about saying that Oudtshoorn has to take it and move with it…Full Transcript
15:35The people of Bongulethu and Bridgton this week took big steps towards the future as they saw it. They laid down their ideas about rehabilitation for a past of desperate conflict and oppression and they’d laid the symbolic cornerstone for a unified future. Now the question remains of whether other communities will get to do the same. Full Transcript
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