The TRC has met in full session following a beginning-of-year retreat on Robben Island for Commissioners and Committee members.
We have, among other issues, discussed the matter of the decision by the Amnesty Committee concerning the application by the 37 ANC leaders. We have carefully considered our own concerns in this regard, together with an appreciation of the clear public interest that exists. We have also had close discussions with the Amnesty Committee, several of whose members have been present at our meeting here.
The Commission has unanimously decided as follows:
1. We shall, as a matter of urgency, approach the High Court to seek a declaratory order, or such other relief as Counsel may advise, to ascertain whether or not the decision made by the Amnesty Committee conformed with our governing Act.
2. We will do this in consultation with the Counsel whose opinion we initially sought. His opinion has guided our decision to go to the court.
3. The Amnesty Committee has been kept fully informed of our discussions and this decision. The Committee supports this course of action and both we and they will, of course, abide by the decision of the court.
We take this opportunity to re-affirm our full confidence in the Amnesty Committee and its operation. Because our Act the Committee absolute autonomy in its deliberations, the only option we as a Commission had in this matter is to act as we have done and go to court. We are confident that this process will, quickly and effectively, resolve the current impasse.