A SUMMARY OF REPARATION AND REHABILITATION POLICY, INCLUDING PROPOSALS TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE PRESIDENT

SECTION 1: REPARATION AND REHABILITATION

  1. Why Reparation?

  2. What does "reparation and rehabilitation" mean?

  3. The Importance of Reparation
    3.1 The Moral Basis for Reparation
    3.2 The Legal Basis for Reparation

  4. How did the Committee prepare its Proposals?
    4.1 Information Collection
    4.2 Principles

SECTION 2: GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSALS

  1. When will Reparation be made?

  2. Who will receive Reparation and Rehabilitation?

SECTION 3: REPARATION AND REHABILITATION PROPOSALS

  1. Interim Reparation

  2. Individual Reparation Grants (IRG)

  3. Symbolic Reparation, Legal and Administrative measures
    3.1 Individual Benefits
    3.2 Community Benefits
    3.3 National Benefits

  4. Community Rehabilitation Programmes
    4.1 Health Care
    4.2 Mental Health Care
    4.3 Education
    4.4 Housing

  5. Institutional Reform

SECTION 4: IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS AND RESPONSIBILITY

  1. The Presidents Fund


 

SECTION 1: REPARATION AND REHABILITATION

1 Why Reparation?

Thousands of people have been severely affected by the conflicts of the past. If we are to get over the past and build national unity and reconciliation, we must make sure that people who suffered gross human rights abuses are acknowledged by providing them with reparation.

 

These measures cannot bring back the dead, or adequately compensate for pain and suffering, but they can improve the quality of life for victims of gross human rights violations and/or their dependants. The Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation (the Committee) has developed reparation policy proposals.

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2 What does "reparation and rehabilitation" mean?

"Reparation and rehabilitation" are words to describe what can be done to help victims overcome the damage that they suffered, to give them back their dignity and to make sure that these abuses do not happen again. Although this could include money, a financial payment is not the only form of reparation and rehabilitation that the Committee recommends. The Committee looked at individuals, communities and the nation as a whole when making recommendations to achieve reparation and rehabilitation.

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3 The Importance of Reparation

There are several reasons for providing reparation. It is important that we know what these reasons are, so that we can understand why people will receive reparation.

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3.1 The Moral Basis for Reparation

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3.2 The Legal Basis for Reparation

The TRC was set up by an Act of Parliament, the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act. This Act says that the TRC must aim to:

The Act also says that the Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation must recommend to the President ways of assisting victims. It is the President and Parliament, and not this Committee, who will decide what to do and how to do it. The recommendations from the Committee will be in the Final Report sent to the President after the Commission has completed its work.

The Committee is making recommendations which deal with interim reparation. Interim Reparation is for people who need immediate assistance because of the gross human rights violations they suffered.

The Act requires the President and the Ministers of Justice and Finance to establish a Presidentís Fund. Victims who qualify for assistance will be paid from this Fund.

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4 How did the Committee prepare its Proposals?

4.1 Information Collection

The Committee collected information from many different places to make these proposals. Victims and survivors, people who made statements to the TRC, representatives of non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations, faith communities and academic institutions were all consulted by the Committee. Consultative workshops were held throughout the country. All the information collected by the Committee helped it to:

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4.2 Principles

The Committee based its work on a number of principles. These principles helped the Committee to develop proposals which aim to bring about healing and reconciliation.

A development-centred approach means that individuals and communities are helped to take control of their own lives. It is very important to provide individuals with knowledge and information about available resources and to help them use these resources in the way that benefits them most.

Proposals for reparation and rehabilitation need to be simple, efficient and fair. This means that the available resources will be used in a way which gives the most benefit to the people who receive them.

The services that are developed as a result of the proposals for reparation and rehabilitation should be sensitive to the religious and cultural beliefs and practices of the community.

Community-based services and delivery should be strengthened and expanded to have a lasting effect on communities.

Community resources which are developed should focus on local capacity building as well as the delivery of services.

The activities that come out of these proposals should aim to bring people together and to promote understanding and reconciliation.

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SECTION 2: GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSALS

1 When will Reparation be made?

The Act provides for two stages in the process of Reparation and Rehabilitation. These are:

Interim Reparation is reparation which can be made until the government introduces the Final Reparation Measures. This is for people who are in urgent need of reparation because of the gross human rights violations they suffered.

The Final Reparation Measures will be included in the Report which goes to the President once the Commission has completed its work. They will be put in place by Parliament after there is agreement on them. The most important focus of the Final Reparation Measures is restoring the dignity of victims and survivors.

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2 Who will receive Reparation and Rehabilitation?

Only people who:

can be considered for reparation.

Reparation will be given only to those formally declared victims by the Commission. The Commission will decide if someone is a victim by looking at all the information they have on the gross human rights violation suffered by that person. It may be possible, in certain circumstances, that the relatives and dependants of victims will also qualify for reparation.

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SECTION 3: REPARATION AND REHABILITATION PROPOSALS

The Committee has proposed a Reparation and Rehabilitation Policy that has five parts.

  1. Interim Reparation

  2. Individual Reparation Grants (IRG)

  3. Symbolic Reparation, Legal and Administrative measures

  4. Community Rehabilitation Programmes

  5. Institutional Reform

It is important to remember that these proposals will be sent to the President. It is the President and Parliament who will decide what to do with the proposals, and how to implement them.

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1 INTERIM REPARATION

Interim Reparation is to help victims who are in urgent need because of the gross human rights violation they suffered. Victims will be helped to get access to the services and facilities they need. There is limited money available for this kind of assistance.

Benefits

If individuals are found to be victims and they are in urgent need, they will be entitled to the following:

The following sections give details of proposals from the Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation which will be sent to the President for decision and implementation. These are proposals for the Final Reparation Measures and will be in the report sent to the President when the Commission has finished its work.

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2 INDIVIDUAL REPARATION GRANT (IRG)

Policy

This is a special individual financial grant scheme. It is proposed that each victim of gross human rights violations, as decided by the Commission, will receive a financial grant which will be paid out over a period of six years.

The Individual Reparation Grant is a financial payment to acknowledge the suffering caused by a gross human rights violation. The IRG will also provide information and advice so that victims can obtain services and establish a reasonable standard of living.

The proposed IRG will be paid to each victim to meet the needs which they have identified, such as medical, education and housing needs. If the victim is dead, this grant will be paid to those dependants and/or relatives who have applied for reparation.

Who can apply for the IRG?

Only victims and relatives or dependants who have been identified by the Commission and who have applied for reparation will be eligible for the IRG.

If the victim died as a result of the violation, the relatives and/or dependants at the time of the victimís death, will be able to apply for the IRG.

What is the IRG?

The IRG will be calculated according to a formula. This formula will take the following factors into account:

The proposal from the Committee is that each victim who qualifies for the IRG will get an amount between R17 000 and R23 000 each year for 6 years. Please remember that this a proposal to the President. The President and Parliament will make a decision on this proposal.

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3 SYMBOLIC REPARATION, LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES

Reason

The Committee has made several proposals for symbolic reparation and other measures, which will help in legal and administrative matters. Symbolic reparation is to help communities remember the pain and the victories of the past. This could include setting aside a day for national remembrance and reconciliation as well as the building of memorials and monuments.

The Committee has also proposed that steps are taken to help individuals to obtain death certificates, to sort out outstanding legal matters and to clear criminal records.

Symbolic reparation measures will restore the dignity of victims and survivors of gross human rights violations.

Beneficiaries

Victims identified through the TRC process, their families and communities at local, provincial and national levels will benefit from these measures. There will therefore be benefits which are for individuals only, as well as benefits which will be for the community and the nation.

Benefits

3.1 Individual Benefits

The following services could be made available:

Many people who made statements to the Commission said that they did not have death certificates for their relatives who had died or been killed.

People who died during the conflicts were often buried in unmarked graves, and their relatives were not present at the burial. It is important for these bodies to be given a proper burial. The costs of the reburial and ceremonies will be taken from the IRG.

Relatives of people who died want their loved ones to have headstones or tombstones. The cost of these will come from the IRG.

People who disappeared need to be formally declared dead.

Many victims have criminal records because of their political activities. A criminal record may have serious consequences. It is therefore important that political activities are no longer seen as criminal.

Legal processes which affect people now, and which are related directly to the gross human rights violations suffered by victims, need to be resolved.

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3.2 Community Benefits

Local and provincial authorities, with civil society structures, could take responsibility for implementing the following measures:

The renaming of streets and public buildings will help us remember individuals and events which are important to a community.

The building of memorials and monuments will commemorate the victories and the conflicts of the past, and will help to make sure that the abuses people have suffered do not happen again.

The needs of the community must be taken into account when ceremonies are held. It may be that ceremonies such as cleansing ceremonies are needed by communities.

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3.3 National Benefits

National benefits will need to be implemented by the relevant Ministries, together with civil society structures.

The following measures are proposed:

Public buildings and structures need to be renamed in honour of individuals and past events.

National monuments and memorials should be built. These will remind people of the things that happened in the past, and help make sure that abuses do not happen again.

A national day of remembrance and reconciliation will remind people of the struggles and pain of the past, and help to bring about reconciliation, so that we are able to move forward from the past into the future.

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4 COMMUNITY REHABILITATION

Introduction

These are proposals for setting up community-based services and activities which can promote the healing and recovery of individuals and communities affected by human rights violations. It is important that communities which have been affected by gross human rights abuses also benefit from reparation and rehabilitation measures. It is not enough to provide individual victims with resources and services, because this does not deal with the effects of gross human rights violations on the community as a whole. The Committee has therefore recommended that rehabilitation programmes are set up at both community and national levels.

These rehabilitation programmes should aim at developing and promoting reconciliation within communities.

The following programmes have been based on the needs expressed by those people who made statements to the TRC. They include programmes for health care (both physical and mental), education and housing.

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4.1 Health Care

A number of programmes have been proposed by the Committee to deal with the many people who have suffered. These programmes cover a wide range of different services and offer specific solutions to the problems experienced by different groups.

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4.2 Mental Health Care

Mental health programmes form part of social and economic development. Programmes dealing with suffering should be linked to existing developmental projects.

Community based interventions

Life skills Training

Specialised Services

Family Based Therapy

Training of Community-based Counsellors

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4.3 Education

Assistance for the Continuation of Studies

Building and Improvement of Schools

Special Educational Support Services

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4.4 Housing

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5 INSTITUTIONAL REFORM

One of the tasks of the TRC is to make proposals on institutional, legislative and administrative measures to prevent human rights abuses from happening in the future. These proposals will include measures which will promote good governance, accountability and the prevention of human rights violations in civil society and the state. The Committeeís recommendations in the area of institutional reform will be included in the Final Report of the TRC.

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SECTION 4: IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS AND RESPONSIBILITY

Please remember that the proposals discussed in this document have not yet been agreed to. They are proposals to the President and to Parliament for programmes to help those who suffered gross human rights violations. The President and Parliament will decide whether to implement these programmes and how this will be done.

  1. Presidentís Fund

The Presidentís Fund is responsible for carrying out the proposals and recommendations that are agreed to by the President and Parliament. It will work closely with the relevant government ministries and departments at national, provincial and local government levels.

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