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Special Report Transcript Episode 87, Section 4, Time 42:09

There must be thousands of victims out there who have given their statements and who have given their testimony who want to know what the Truth Commission has in store for them. Would you talk to them for us? // Thank you. I’m grateful to TRC Special Report for this opportunity they are giving us in their last programme to address those of you, especially the victims and survivors, who have come to the Commission. We want to thank all of you who have come forward to make statements about your experiences and those of others in your community. Thank you for telling your story so that the country could know what happened in the past, so that the wounds might be healed. You have paid a very heavy price for our freedom and for the peaceful transition; may we never devalue that freedom. As well as thanking you, I want to use this opportunity to explain what will be happening in the closing months of the TRC for victims and survivors who have come to the Commission. Firstly, very soon there will be a public announcement that the regulations and the application form for interim reparations have been published in the Government Gazette. Interim reparations refer to the one time grant that will be paid to victims or dependents who have suffered hardship and are in need. It will be a one off payment, which will normally be a maximum of R2000 and it is really designed to enable you to access services, such as medical services, you may need. This payment is designed only to give limited help while the government and Parliament are discussing their final decision on reparations which they are likely to make only after we have closed down. Secondly, the Human Rights Violations Committee of the TRC is making findings on each of the more than 20 000 statements which you have made to us. The Committee has to corroborate every single statement before it can declare whether you are a victim of a gross human rights violation or not. It has made 11 400 findings so far and aims to complete the remaining findings by the end of May. Please don’t rush to phone or visit TRC offices when you hear that the reparations form has been published in the Gazette or when you hear that the first findings are being sent out. It will take us some time to get to each of your statements. Next, as soon as the reparation application form has been approved by the government and we have made a finding that you are a victim or a dependent of a victim we will send you a letter telling you of our finding and enclosing an application form. If you are found not to be a victim, please remember that this does not mean for instance that you are not a victim of apartheid; it means you do not fall into the category of victim prescribed by Parliament in the law. Also, if you are found not to be a victim we are making plans so you can appeal against the decision if you want to. Once we have received your reparations application form the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee of the TRC will consider each form. If you have suffered hardship and are in particular need they will refer your application to the President’s Fund for urgent attention and payment. Then, the President’s Fund, not the TRC, will urgently make interim reparations payments to those who qualify. To sum up: you, the victims and the survivors have been incredibly patient with us. Please be patient with us a few weeks longer. Once the reparations application form has been approved by the government and once a finding has been made on your statement we will send you our finding and the application form. Finally, I want to emphasise that interim reparations are just one part of a five point proposal for final reparations and rehabilitation which we will be sending to the president in our final report at the end of July. Before we close down we will be publishing a booklet in all official languages which will be sent to you and which will contain an outline of our final suggestions. After that, it will be up to the president, the government and parliament to make the final decisions about what sort of reparations the country can afford. God bless you. // Thank you Father. This is also the last programme of the Special Report on the Truth and Reconciliation process. I think it is our number 87. It’s a long time we’ve lived with this process and we’re looking back tonight and we want you to look back with us. And basically, first thing, I would say, are you happy that we’re much closer to the truth today compared to April two years ago. // Before I answer that question, I would want to say on behalf of all of us, heartious congratulations to you and to your team on winning the Pringle Award and the Foreign Correspondence Award for your work with the TRC. And really a very warm thank you for having helped with others of your colleagues in radio and in the print media to bring the TRC to the people where it belongs. Yes, I would say that largely we have been able to uncover the truth. You need just to think of say the Pebco Three; the sort of things that we now know. Or the bombing of Khotso House, or the Cradock Four and perhaps most heartrendingly you might refer to the exhumations of people who were killed secretly and buried secretly and what all of that has meant to their families. We wish we could have done a great deal more.

Notes: Max du Preez; Archbishop Tutu; Max du Preez; Archbishop Tutu

References: there are no references for this transcript

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