Joint Sitting - 15 April 2003

TUESDAY, 15 APRIL 2003 __


Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 2003.

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.

                      CALLING OF JOINT SITTING

The Speaker announced that the President had requested that in terms of section 42(5) of the Constitution a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces be convened to afford him the opportunity to address Parliament on the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madame Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Provinces, Deputy President, Chief Justice and members of the judiciary, former members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, distinguished Premiers, honoured traditional leaders, leaders of the Chapter Nine institutions, hon leaders of our political parties, your excellencies ambassadors and high commissioners, hon members, distinguished guests, fellow South Africans, we have convened today as the elected representatives of the people of South Africa to reflect on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to examine its recommendations and to find answers, in practical terms, to the question: Where to from here?

We wish to acknowledge the presence of commissioners of the erstwhile TRC, who took time off their busy schedules to join us in commending the report to our national Parliament. I am confident that I speak on behalf of all hon members when I say to these commissioners and, through them, to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the other commissioners not present here today that South Africa sincerely appreciates the work that they have done. Our thanks also go to the staff of the commission and all who contributed to the success of the work of the TRC, which we are justified to celebrate today. [Applause.]

They did everything humanly possible to realise the objectives of a process novel in its conception, harrowing in its execution and, in many respects, thankless in balancing expectation and reality.

I must recognise the presence in the House of Minister Dullah Omar, who was at the very beginning of this process. [Applause.]

Our assessment of the TRC’s success cannot, therefore, be based on whether it has brought contrition and forgiveness, or whether, at the end of its work, it handed us a united and reconciled society. For this was not its mandate. What the TRC set out to do, and has undoubtedly achieved, is to offer us the signposts in the long march to these ideals.

What it was required to do, and has accomplished, was to flag the dangers that can beset a state not premised on popular legitimacy and the confidence of its citizens, and the ills that would befall any society founded on prejudice and a belief in a master race.

The extent to which the TRC could identify and pursue priority cases; its ability to bring to its hearings all relevant actors; the attention that it could pay to civil society’s role in buttressing an illegitimate and illegal state; and the TRC’s investigative capacity to pursue difficult issues with regard to which the actors had decided to spurn its call for co- operation - all these weaknesses were those of society and not the TRC as such. And we make bold to say that all these complexities make the product of the work of the TRC that much more outstanding and impressive.

The pain and the agony that characterised the conflict among South Africans over the decades, so vividly relived in many hearings of the commission, planted the seed of hope - of a future bright in its humanity and in its sense of caring.

It is a future whose realisation gave life to the passion for the liberation of our people of Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani, the 10th anniversary of whose passing away we mark this month. This includes others such as Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and Steve Bantu Biko, who passed away 25 years ago this year and last year respectively. They joined and have since been joined by many other patriots to whom freedom meant life itself.

We are indebted to all of them, and we shall work to ensure that their memory lives on in the minds of generations to come, inspired by our common determination that never again should one South African oppress another! [Applause.]

At a critical moment in our history, as a people, we came to the conclusion that we must, together, end the killing. We took a deliberate decision that a violent conflict was neither in the interest of our country nor would it solve our problems.

Together, we decided that in the search for a solution to our problems, nobody should be demonised or excluded. We agreed that everybody should become part of the solution, whatever they might have done and represented in the past. This related both to negotiating the future of our country and to working to build the new South Africa we had all negotiated. We agreed that we would not have any war crimes tribunals or take to the road of revenge and retribution.

When Chris Hani, a great hero of our people, was murdered, even as our country was still governed by a white minority regime, we who represented the oppressed majority said: “Let those who remain in positions of authority in our country carry out their responsibility to bring those who murdered him to book.” We called on our people neither to take the law into their own hands nor to mete out blind vengeance against those they knew as the beneficiaries of apartheid oppression.

We imposed a heavy burden, particularly on the millions who had been the victims of this oppression, to let bygones be bygones. We said to them: “Do not covet the material wealth of those who benefited from your oppression and exploitation, even as you remain poor.”

We walked among their ranks saying that none among them should predicate a better future for themselves on the basis of the impoverishment of those who had prospered at their expense. We said to them that on the day of liberation, there would be no looting; there would be no celebrations that would result in chaos, and there would be no chaos.

We said that as the majority, we had a responsibility to make our day of liberation an unforgettable moment of joy, with none condemned to remember it forever as a day of bitter tears.

We said to our people that they should honour the traditions they had built and entrenched over centuries, never to hate people because of their colour or race, always to value all human beings, and never to turn their backs on the deeply entrenched sentiment informed by the spirit of ubuntu, to forgive, understanding that the harm done yesterday cannot be undone today by a resolve to harm another.

We reminded the masses of our people of the values their movement for national liberation had upheld throughout a turbulent century, of everything they had done to defend both this movement and its values, of their obligation never to betray this noble heritage. Our people heeded all these calls, even as many lives were being lost in continuing violence.

By reason of the generosity and the big hearts of the masses of our people, all of us have been able to sleep in peace, knowing that there will be no riots in our streets. Because these conscious masses know what they are about, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was able to do its work enjoying the co-operation of those who for ages had upheld the vision of a united humanity in which each would be one’s brother and sister. These are an heroic people whose greatest reward is the liberation of their country. Of them, the TRC says:

Others did not wish to be portrayed as a “victim”. Indeed, many said expressly that they regarded themselves instead as soldiers who had voluntarily paid the price of their struggle … Many have expressed reservations about the very notion of a “victim”, a term which is felt to denote a certain passivity and helplessness … Military operatives of the liberation movements generally did not report violations they experienced to the Commission, although many who were arrested experienced severe torture. This is in all likelihood a result of their reluctance to be seen as “victims”, as opposed to combatants fighting for a moral cause for which they were prepared to suffer such violations. The same can be said for most prominent political activists and leadership figures … The Commission did not, for example, receive a single Human Rights Violation statement from any of the Rivonia trialists.

Some of these, who had to go through the torture chambers of the apartheid regime to bring us our liberty, are with us in this Chamber today. There are others, who sit on the balcony as visitors, who lost their loved ones whom they pride as liberators, and others who also suffered from repression.

Surely all of us must feel a sense of humility in the face of such selfless heroism and attachment to principle and morality, the assertion of the nobility of the human spirit that would be demeaned, denied and degraded by any suggestion that these heroes and heroines are but mere victims, who must receive a cash reward for being simply and deeply human.

I know there are some in this House who do not understand the meaning of what I have just said. They think I have said what I have said to avoid the payment of reparations to those whom the TRC has identified as “victims”, within the meaning of the law.

Indeed, the TRC itself makes the gratuitous comment (para 16, p 163, Vol 6) that:

Today, when the government is spending so substantial a portion of its budget on submarines and other military equipment, it is unconvincing to argue that it is too financially strapped to meet this minimal (reparations) commitment.

Apart from anything else, the Government has never presented such an argument. It is difficult to understand why the commission decided to make such a statement.

Elsewhere in the same volume, the Rev Frank Chikane, Director-General in the Presidency and former General Secretary of the SA Council of Churches, is falsely reported as having made a presentation to the Amnesty Committee, which he never did. He is then said to have told this committee that he had participated in killing people. We do not understand how this grave and insulting falsification found its way into the report of the TRC. We are pleased to report that Archbishop Tutu has written to Rev Chikane to apologise for this inexplicable account.

The poet Mongane Wally Serote teaches us: ``to every birth its blood’’. And so, today we acknowledge the pain that attended the struggle to give birth to the new life that South Africa has started to enjoy. In this era of increased geopolitical tension, we dare celebrate as South Africans that we have found home-grown solutions that set us on a course of reconstruction and development, nation-building, reconciliation and peace among ourselves.

At this time, when great uncertainty about the future of our common world envelops the globe, we dare stand on mountain tops to proclaim our humble contribution to the efforts of humanity to build a stable, humane and safer South Africa and, by extension, a more stable, more humane and safer world.

If we should find correct answers to the question, “Where to from here?” we will need to remind ourselves of the objectives of the TRC from its very inception, so aptly captured in the preamble to the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act:

… the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, provides a historic bridge between the past of a deeply divided society characterised by strife, conflict, untold suffering and injustice, and a future founded on the recognition of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, race, class, belief or sex;

… the Constitution states that the pursuit of national unity, the well- being of all South African citizens and peace require reconciliation between the people of South Africa and the reconstruction of society;

… it is deemed necessary to establish the truth in relation to past events as well as the motives for and circumstances in which gross violations of human rights have occurred, and to make the findings known in order to prevent a repetition of such acts in future;

… the Constitution states that there is a need for understanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparation but not for retaliation, a need for ubuntu but not for victimisation …

I am certain that we are all of us at one that the pursuit of national unity, the wellbeing of all South African citizens and peace require reconciliation among the people of South Africa and the reconstruction of our society.

These are the larger and fundamental objectives that should inform all of us as we work to give birth to the new South Africa. The occasion of the receipt of the report of the TRC should give us an opportunity to reflect on these matters.

Both singly and collectively, we should answer the question: How far have we progressed in the last nine years towards the achievement of the goals of national unity, national reconciliation and national reconstruction? Both singly and collectively, we have to answer the question: What have we contributed to the realisation of these goals?

These larger questions, which stand at the heart of what our country will be, did not fall within the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC was therefore but an important contributor to the achievement of the larger whole, occupying an important sector within the larger process of the building of a new South Africa.

As stated in the Act, the TRC had to help us to establish the truth in relation to past events as well as the motives for and circumstances in which gross violations of human rights occurred, and to make the findings known in order to prevent a repetition of such acts in future.

It had to help us to promote understanding and avoid vengeance, to extend reparation to those who had been harmed and discourage retaliation, to rely on the spirit of ubuntu as a deterrent against victimisation.

The TRC has done its work as was required. As stipulated in the TRC Act, we are here to make various recommendations to our national Parliament, arising out of the work of the TRC.

As hon members are aware, there is a specific requirement in the law that Parliament should consider and take decisions on matters relating particularly to reparations. It would then be the task of the executive to implement these decisions. The law also provides that the national legislature may also make recommendations to the executive on other matters arising out of the TRC process, as it may deem fit.

Let us now turn to some of the major specific details that the TRC enjoins us to address. The first of these is the matter of reparations.

First of all, an integrated and comprehensive response to the TRC report should be about the continuing challenge of reconstruction and development: deepening democracy and the culture of human rights, ensuring good governance and transparency, intensifying economic growth and development, enhancing our social programmes, improving citizens’ safety and security and contributing to the building of a humane and just South Africa and a humane and just world order.

The TRC also argues for systematic programmes to project the symbolism of struggle and the ideal of freedom. This relates to such matters as academic and informal records of history, the remaking of cultural and art forms, erecting symbols and monuments that exalt the freedom struggle, including new geographic and place names. The Government accepts these recommendations.

Special emphasis will continue to be paid to the rehabilitation of communities that were subjected to intense acts of violence and destruction. Experience gained with the projects in Katorus in Gauteng and Mpumalanga in KwaZulu-Natal demonstrates that great progress can be made in partnership between communities and government.

Further, with regard to specific cases of individual victims identified by the TRC, the Government has put in place and will intensify programmes pertaining to medical benefits, educational assistance, the provision of housing and so on. From time to time, Ministers have elaborated and will continue to expatiate on the implementation of these and other related programmes.

The TRC has reported that about 22 000 individuals or surviving families appeared before the commission. Of these, about 19 000 required urgent reparations, and virtually all of them, where the necessary information was available, were attended to as proposed by the TRC with regard to interim reparations.

With regard to final reparations, the Government will provide a once-off grant of R30 000 to those individuals or survivors designated by the TRC. This is over and above other material commitments that we have already mentioned.

We intend to process these payments as a matter of urgency, during the current financial year. Combined with community reparations, and assistance through opportunities and services we have referred to earlier, we hope that these will offer some relief for the harm these individuals experienced.

We do so with some apprehension, for as the TRC has underlined, no one can attach monetary value to life and to suffering. [Applause.] Nor can an argument be sustained that the efforts of millions of South Africans to liberate themselves were for monetary gain. We are convinced that, to the millions who spared neither life nor limb in struggle, there is no bigger prize than freedom itself and the continuing struggle to build a better life for all. [Applause.]

The second of the specific details in the TRC recommendations pertains to the issue of amnesty. A critical trade-off contained in the TRC process was between normal judicial processes on the one hand, and the establishment of the truth, reparations and amnesty on the other.

Besides the imperatives of managing the transition, an important consideration that had to be addressed when the TRC was set up was the extent to which the new democratic state could pursue legal cases against perpetrators of gross human rights violations, given the resources that would have to be allocated to this, the complexities of establishing the facts beyond reasonable doubt and the time it would take to deal with all the cases, as well as the bitterness and instability that such a process would wreak on society.

The balance that the TRC Act struck among these competing demands was reflected in the national consensus around the provision of amnesty - in instances where perpetrators had provided the true facts about particular incidents - and restorative justice which would be effected in the form of reparations.

Given that a significant number of people did not apply for amnesty, what approach does Government place before the national legislature and the nation on this matter?

Let us start off by reiterating that there shall be no general amnesty. Any such approach, whether applied to specific categories of people or regions of the country, would fly in the face of the TRC process and subtract from the principle of accountability, which is vital not only in dealing with the past, but also in the creation of a new ethos within our society.

Yet we also have to deal with the reality that many of the participants in the conflicts of the past did not take part in the TRC process. Among these are individuals who were misled by their leadership to treat the process with disdain. Others calculated that they would not be found out, due either to poor TRC investigations or to what they believed and still believe is too complex a web of concealment for anyone to unravel. Yet other operatives expected the political leadership of the state institutions to which they belonged to provide the overall context against which they could present their cases: and this was not to be.

All of this reality cannot be avoided. Government is of the firm conviction that we cannot resolve this matter by setting up yet another amnesty process, which in effect would mean suspending the constitutional rights of those who were at the receiving end of gross human rights violations.

We have therefore left this matter in the hands of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, for it to pursue any cases that, as is normal practice, it believes deserve prosecution and can be prosecuted. This work is continuing.

However, as part of this process and in the national interest, the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, working with our intelligence agencies, will leave its doors open for those who are prepared to divulge information at their disposal and to co-operate in unearthing the truth, for them to enter into arrangements that are standard in the normal execution of justice, and which are accommodated in our legislation. [Applause.]

This is not a desire for vengeance, nor would it compromise the rights of citizens who may wish to seek justice in our courts. It is critically important that, as a government, we should continue to establish the truth about the networks that operated against the people. This is an obligation that attaches to the nation’s security today, for some of these networks still pose a real or latent danger against our democracy. In some instances, caches of arms have been retained which lend themselves to employment in criminal activity.

This approach leaves open the possibility for individual citizens to take up any grievance related to human rights violations with the courts.

Thirdly, in each instance where any legal arrangements are entered into between the NDPP and particular perpetrators as we have proposed, the involvement of the victims will be crucial in determining the appropriate course of action.

Relevant departments are examining the practical modalities of dealing with this matter, and they will also establish whether specific legislation is required in this regard.

We shall also endeavour to explain South Africa’s approaches on these matters to sister governments across the world. Our response to any judicial matters from these countries will be handled in this spirit and through the legal system. In this regard, we wish to reiterate our call to governments that continue to do so, that the maltreatment of former anti- apartheid fighters, based on the legal definitions of an illegal regime characterised by the United Nations as a crime against humanity, should cease.

In the recent past, the issue of litigation and civil suits against corporations that benefited from the apartheid system has arisen sharply. In this regard, we wish to reiterate that the South African Government is not and will not be party to such litigation. [Applause.]

In addition, we consider it completely unacceptable that matters that are central to the future of our country should be adjudicated in foreign courts which bear no responsibility for the wellbeing of our country and the observance of the perspective contained in our Constitution of the promotion of national reconciliation. [Applause.]

While Government recognises the right of citizens to institute legal action, its own approach is informed by the desire to involve all South Africans, including corporate citizens, in a co-operative and voluntary partnership to reconstruct and develop South African society. Accordingly, we do not believe that it would be correct for us to impose the once-off wealth tax on corporations proposed by the TRC. [Applause.]

Consultations are continuing with the business community to examine additional ways in which they can contribute to the task of the reconstruction and development of our society, proceeding from the premise that this is in their own self-interest. In addition to intensifying work with regard to such tasks as poverty eradication, and programmes such as black economic empowerment, encouraging better individual corporate social responsibility, implementing equity legislation and taking advantage of the Skills Training Levy, we intend to improve the work of the Business Trust.

In this context, we must emphasise that our response to the TRC has to be integrated within the totality of the enormous effort in which we are engaged, to ensure the fundamental social transformation of our country. This requires that at all times we attain the necessary balance among the various goals we have to pursue. The TRC also recommends that what it describes as the beneficiaries of apartheid should also make contributions to a reparations fund. The Government believes that all South Africans should make such contributions. In the pursuit of the goal of a nonracial society, in which all South Africans would be inspired by a common patriotism, we believe that we should begin to learn to work together, uniting to address the common national challenges, such as responding to the consequences of the gross violations of human rights of which the TRC was seized.

In this regard, I am certain that members of our Government will be among the first to make their contributions to the reparation fund, despite the fact that they stood on one side of the barricades as we engaged in struggle to end the apartheid system. [Applause.]

Many in our country have called for a national day of prayer and traditional sacrifice to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and suffered during the difficult period of oppression and repression whose legacy remains with us. The Government accepts this suggestion and will consult as widely as possible to determine the date and form of such prayer and traditional sacrifice. This is consistent with, and would be an appropriate response to, the proposals made by the TRC for conferences to heal the memory and honour those who were executed, as well as to cleanse the living.

We shall also continue to work in partnership with countries of the subcontinent, jointly to take part in the massive reconstruction and development effort that the SADC has identified as critical to building a better life for all. The peoples of Southern Africa, including the majority in South Africa, endured untold privations and were subjected to the destabilisation and destruction of property and infrastructure and the taking away of lives. They all deserve the speeding up of the programmes of integration, reconstruction and development that governments of the region have agreed upon.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made many detailed observations and recommendations on structures and systems, which will be dealt with by relevant Ministers and departments.

For the purposes of reparations, the Government has already established the President’s Fund, which is now operational, and has, as we earlier indicated, successfully dealt with the matter of the urgent interim reparations. Like the TRC, we do hope that citizens from all sectors will find it within themselves to make a contribution to this fund. Most of the resources that have been allocated for the individual and community reparations that we referred to will be sourced from this fund, over and above the normal work of the relevant departments.

We concur with the TRC that intensive work should be undertaken on the matter of monuments as well as geographic and place names. A trust with the requisite infrastructure, headed by Mongane Wally Serote, has been set up to implement the main project in this regard, which is the construction of the Freedom Park, whose constituent parts are the memorial, the garden of remembrance and the museum. This should start by the 10th anniversary of freedom in 2004.

The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions and relevant departments will be requested to deal with matters relating to people who were unaccounted for, postmortem records and policy with regard to burials of unidentified persons. We would like to encourage all persons who might have any knowledge of people still unaccounted for to approach the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the SA Police Service and other relevant departments with that information.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will monitor the implementation of all of these programmes, and it will report to Cabinet on an ongoing basis.

What we have identified today, arising out of the report of the TRC, forms part of the panoply of programmes that define the first steps in a journey that has truly begun. South African society is changing for the better. The tide has turned and the people’s contract for a better tomorrow is taking shape.

The goals we defined for ourselves a decade ago, as we adopted the interim Constitution - to pursue national unity, to secure peace and the wellbeing of all South African citizens, to achieve national reconciliation and the reconstruction of our society - have not been fully realised, despite the progress we have made.

The situation we face demands that none of us should succumb to the false comfort that now we live in a normal society that has overcome the legacy of the past, and which permits us to consider our social tasks as mere business as usual.

Rather, it demands that we continue to be inspired by the determination and vision that enabled us to achieve the transition from apartheid rule to a democratic order in the manner that we did. It demands that we act together as one people to address what are truly national tasks.

We have to ask ourselves and honestly answer simple questions: Have we succeeded in creating a nonracial society? The answer to this question is no. Have we succeeded in building a nonsexist society? The answer to that question is no. Have we succeeded fully in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in our society - the children, the youth, people with disabilities and the elderly? Once again the answer to this question is no.

Without all this, it is impossible for us to claim that we have met our goals of national reconciliation and reconstruction and development. It is not possible for us to make the assertion that we have secured the wellbeing of all South African citizens.

The road we have travelled and the advances we have made convey the firm message that we are moving towards the accomplishment of the objectives we set ourselves. They tell us that, in the end, however long the road we still have to travel, we will win.

In the larger sense, we were all victims of the system of apartheid, both black and white. Some among us suffered because of oppression, exploitation, repression and exclusion. Others among us suffered because we were imprisoned behind prison walls of fear, paralysed by inhuman belief in our racial superiority and called upon to despise and abuse other human beings. Those who do such things cannot but diminish their own humanity.

To be true to ourselves as human beings demands that we act together to overcome the legacy of this common and terrible past. It demands that we do indeed enter into a people’s contract for a better tomorrow.

Together we must confront the challenge of steering through a complex transition that demands that we manage the historical fault-lines, without papering over the cracks, moved by a new and common patriotism. It says to all of us that we must honour those who shed their blood so that we can sit together in this Chamber by doing all the things that will make it possible for us to say that this South Africa that we have rebuilt together truly belongs to all who live in it.

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to commend the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to our national Houses of Parliament and to the nation. I thank you very much. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: We thank you, Mr President. Hon members, the Houses of Parliament will now begin the national debate on the report in joint session.


The PREMIER OF GAUTENG: President of the Republic, Deputy President, hon Speaker, Chairperson of the NCOP, premiers and hon members, today, just over a year before we complete the first decade of freedom and democracy in our country, we are gathered in this House as representatives and humble servants of the people of South Africa, to finally put behind us the ugly and unpleasant past that was characterised by gruesome violations of the rights of the overwhelming majority of our people.

This House in 1995 passed a law providing for the establishment of the TRC, so that all South Africans could know what happened in the past, why it happened, and agree on the steps that need to be taken to ensure that the evil deeds of the past are never repeated.

Through its investigation into gross human rights violations and the information gathered at many of the public hearings it conducted, the TRC uncovered a lot of gruesome human rights violations that had been committed in defence and furtherance of apartheid. The TRC confirmed the point that we have always made: that apartheid was a deliberate policy on which a system of government was built where the rights of the overwhelming majority of South Africans, but mainly the black community and women, were trampled upon and security considerations ruled the roost.

The finding that there were groups of people and individuals who benefited materially from apartheid does not come as a surprise. We have always known that the majority of whites and businesses, partly because of the material benefits and privileges they enjoyed from apartheid, also contributed to the oppression and exploitation of black people through the active promotion of discriminatory measures.

State corporations were formed but primarily to create employment opportunities for white people and direct public resources to the white minority. Vacancies were created, especially in senior management positions, not because they were required for the efficiency and effectiveness of the corporations, but simply to create sheltered employment for white people.

The regime saw it as one of its primary responsibilities to ensure that every white person was given a stake in the system. It created a situation that no white person should feel that, in the event of abolition of the apartheid system, they had nothing to lose. Consequently, many among white South Africans were actively engaged in defending the system that gave them special privileges and oppressed the black people.

So there is no debate about whether or not white people benefited, whether or not businesses benefited. The question for us is: How do we respond as a nation in a manner that ensures that we are able to move forward?

Some of the victims and surviving family members had the opportunity to relate their suffering and came face to face with the perpetrators. Some of the perpetrators came forward to tell the truth about their actions and were truly remorseful for the pain and suffering that they had inflicted on their victims.

All of us understood from the onset that the truth and reconciliation process, while it had to ensure that to the extent possible there was justice, was not about revenge or retribution. We knew that restoration, restitution and reparations would be important outcomes of this process. Today, on the basis of the work of the TRC, which made it possible for us to know more about our country’s unpleasant past, we can all say that never again should South Africans be subjected to gruesome human rights violations. We are now better able to march together to the new peaceful, just and prosperous South Africa in which all citizens live in harmony and are treated equally.

The question that all of us must now grapple with is: What needs to be done to alleviate the plight of victims, to help restore their dignity and their humanity, and make them feel that reconciliation and justice have not been at their expense?

We know that justice demands that the concerns of victims should take centrestage in the process of reconciliation. In this context, all of us need to be creative in identifying ways in which the Government and the people can together participate in the process of effecting restitution, restoration and reparation, and move closer towards a better South Africa for all.

To do so will require a common understanding of victims of apartheid as going beyond those who went before the TRC to tell their stories. We think it will be wrong to define victims, and therefore people on whom we need to do more work, as only those who had the opportunity to go in front of the TRC.

Since 1994 the Government has been implementing policies aimed at improving the lives of millions of South Africans whose conditions were inflicted upon them by many years of neglect, repression and injustice. Significant progress has been recorded. Many South Africans have experienced a great deal of improvement in their quality of life. We continue to implement policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives of our people, especially the victims of apartheid.

In Gauteng, the work that we are doing in Alexandra, Kliptown, Bekkersdal and other areas that have been severely ravaged by apartheid-inflicted poverty will contribute towards reparation, reconciliation and transformation. We intend to ensure that by the time the country is ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter, we are able to ensure that those who live in Kliptown will themselves also be able to say that they can see reconciliation and reparation, through a monument in the area named after Walter Sisulu. [Applause.]

But as we are all aware, it will take a considerable amount of time and a lot more resources will be required to wipe out the legacy of centuries of colonialism and apartheid neglect and injustice. The scars that were inflicted upon our people as a result of the implementation of apartheid policies are still there for all to see. Our country continues to be seen as a country of two nations - one extremely wealthy and skilled and the other living in conditions of abject poverty. We need to do more to change that reality. The overwhelming majority of black people still participate in the economy as no more than labourers and consumers of goods and services. We need to do more to change that situation.

This work of removing the apartheid legacy and building a better South Africa can therefore not be left to Government alone. Without seeking to apportion blame to anybody for their role in apartheid, we call on all historically privileged South Africans, including business, to recognise that genuine reconciliation requires addressing the inequalities, iniquities and developmental backlogs that the apartheid system, from which they benefited to varying degrees, has left as a heritage of our new democratic order.

A new commitment is required from all of us, as Government, business, professionals and other stakeholders, to work together to overcome problems of inequality and underdevelopment, and build a new nation.

The TRC has made findings and recommendations which create the possibility for all of us to take action to heal the wounds of the past and move faster towards a better South Africa for all. The time to act is now. Let us act to ensure that, as we said at the beginning of the TRC process, what happened in the past is never repeated. Let this be the commitment to the new dispensation for which many paid the ultimate price, the new dispensation which many of us today enjoy, and let us also begin to honour those who have long passed.

Let me conclude by saying that one of the issues often raised out there is that today no one acknowledges ever having supported apartheid, ever having benefited from apartheid. The question arises: How was such a system, with no support from anybody, ever able to survive? [Applause.]

It is true that we must acknowledge that the fact that apartheid existed for so long was because it had supporters. The challenge for those who supported apartheid is not to continue to wallow in guilt, but rather to say what commitment they make to the building of this new South Africa, which was made possible by those that they oppressed for many years. [Applause.]

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, Mr President, colleagues, South Africa’s peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy was not the consequence of a miracle, but the product of the innate decency and good sense of the majority of the people of South Africa, black and white. We negotiated a democratic settlement that is admired around the world, but the constitutional accords of 1993, and again in 1996, which laid a foundation for the future, were not enough. The past had to be laid to rest.

The horror and the grief of the apartheid years, the pain and the humiliation, and the questions that persisted about the fate of the dead and the missing, all required settling. There was, in the words of the 1993 Interim Constitution, from which the President quoted this afternoon, a need for understanding, but not for vengeance; a need for reparation, but not retaliation; a need for ubuntu, but not victimisation. And again, South Africans decided upon a sensible remedy: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission or the TRC.

The TRC, as we see from its many volumes, provided victims with an opportunity to tell their own stories. It offered, as well, perpetrators of human rights violations a chance to disclose and an opportunity to confess. And, in a carefree delimited departure from the usual requirements of justice, it made provision for amnesty for those same perpetrators, provided - and the provisos were absolutely crucial - that they disclose their deeds in full, and that they could show that their actions had been politically motivated and were proportional to the objective being pursued.

The DA, and the parties which comprise it, supported the idea of the TRC. We supported its mandate, which is why we occasionally objected when the TRC strayed beyond its mandate, and we supported the manner in which it conducted its work, by and large. It deserves, in the main, our congratulations. Yet, sometimes, we hear it is said that we should forgive and forget, move on, stop wallowing in the past. In our respectful view, that is profoundly mistaken. We must never forget, Madam Speaker. We must not forget one single murder, nor one single act of torture. Every police assassination, every illegal abduction, every burning to death, and every explosion that killed innocent people, should be remembered. The moral reason for not forgetting is that, by doing so, we dishonour the victims. The practical reason is that, by safeguarding the future, we require an understanding of the failures of the past.

Over and over again, the TRC points to one outstanding cause for the atrocities and the suffering it disclosed: The abuse of power. Perpetrators of crimes, on all sides, rightly stand condemned. But those who committed crimes supporting apartheid were agents of the state, and the state which had, and has today, a lawful monopoly on force has a solemn contract to act responsibly, and on behalf of the people. This the National Party of the apartheid state did not do. It acted first on behalf of the racial minority, and finally on behalf of a small ruling elite. It undermined the institutions of democracy. It removed many of the checks and restraints on state power. It subverted good governance. It reduced Parliament to a rubber stamp of the Executive. It passed acts that violated the rule of law. It mischaracterised opposition as unpatriotic, and banned many opposition parties. It depicted criticism as treasonable, and it bullied newspapers. It began to see the party as the state, and then the state as the nation, and, finally, the party as the nation.

The results, terrible and tragic, Madam Speaker, were displayed before the hearings of the TRC. The moral of the story is that the rule of law, the right to opposition, the independence of the judiciary, the sovereignty of Parliament, and the freedom of the press, are not ornaments of a modern society, they are fundamental safeguards of liberty. The TRC has produced thick files of torture, terror, mutilation and death, which are a grim and vivid testament on the abuse of power. They must be kept for ever, and we must never forget.

Forgiveness is a different matter entirely, because it lies outside the realm of the state and outside the realm of this Chamber. It is in the private realm of the heart. None of us here can advise the mother of a child, who has been murdered, whether she should forgive the killer. She must look inside herself and answer. If she decides to forgive, we salute her; if she decides not to forgive, we understand.

But, if the state does not have the power to forgive, it does have the power to pardon. The TRC’s terms of amnesty were wise and sensible. To obtain amnesty, perpetrators had to make full disclosure, they had to prove that their deeds were politically motivated, and they had to file their applications by a date set in law. Let us not forget that the amnesty provisions, contained in the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995, represent a significant, and potentially dangerous, departure from the most basic demand of justice, which is that criminals - all criminals - should pay for their crimes.

We justified our compromise on this principle of justice by arguing that amnesty was necessary for reconciliation. But we made sure, even as we privileged the need for reconciliation over the demands of justice, that the amnesty process would carefully be circumscribed by law, and would apply for a limited time, and in a defined manner. Any attempt now to extend the amnesty provision in that Act, or worse, to provide any general amnesty, or worse still, any form of back-door amnesty, would violate the demands of justice, rubbish our commitment to reconciliation, and make a mockery of the entire TRC process. Most damning of all: It would dishonour the dead.

That is why I believe the announcement that the President made today, is a very welcome one. Because those who failed to take advantage of the generous period of amnesty, under the TRC, must now face the possibility of criminal action. Today’s announcement, by the President, of a new approach by the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of certain acts, particularly those which he described as potentially undermining our democracy, need to be treated with the utmost circumspection, but also with due consideration. As a minimum, we surely cannot deviate from the constitutional and legislative requirements of full disclosure, proportionality and the judicial determination of whether an offence is motivated by so-called political reasoning, or not.

Madam Speaker, the Act, which established the TRC, was very properly narrow and precise in the definition of both gross human rights violation and of victim: Anyone who suffered harm as a result of killing, abduction, torture, or severe ill-treatment. Only victims thus defined were eligible for reparation. We therefore welcome the fact, at long-last, that the victims are going to receive, as defined, a once-off financial grant, as required by the Constitution, and as compelled by our national conscience. The President’s announcement is a welcome first step, but the devil, as always, will be in the detail and in the delivery. In the light of the careful framing of the TRC Act, and the dreadful suffering of its defined victims, it is quite wrong to alter and widen the notion of reparations in such a way so as to include almost any real or imagined misfortune occurring during the period under consideration. We agree with the President and the Government, and not with the TRC, in this regard.

The idea that companies, operating under apartheid, should pay reparations because their workers were treated less well than workers in some ideal system, is misguided and an insult to the people who were tortured and killed. I believe the Government is correct not to palm off its responsibilities onto business, because we already expect business, and business in South Africa, to do a great deal. It is at the forefront of a massive programme of redistribution through economic empowerment, through employment equity, through the skills levy, through the demutualisation levy, and through social investment.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the TRC has done a magnificent job in exposing the atrocities of the apartheid era. We must never forget them. We must work to ensure that their like never happens again. For the work it has done, we give the TRC our thanks. And the work that Parliament will do must continue. Thank you.

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Mr Deputy President, former members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, hon members of the national Parliament, we have arrived at a truly historic moment, long-delayed, some might say, but certainly a moment worthy of celebration. The importance of this moment is that it constitutes the end of the beginning of a process that Parliament initiated seven years ago. It signifies the end of a particularly intense searching and sometimes painful process in our country’s history. But as much as it is the end of a process, it also points to the dawning of a new chapter for our democracy and the national development and reconstruction needed to fully achieve the ideals we set for ourselves. In pursuit of our goals, it is important to recall that the work of the TRC was intended to be one initiative among many designed to bring healing to our nation in the wake of the evil years of apartheid. As we today face the closing phases of the TRC, we need to recall the overall mandate that governed its work: It is to reconcile, it is to heal, and it is to repair. The time has therefore come to build a national consensus on how to do so.

Given its importance, we in this Parliament need to treat this moment with the dignity it deserves. Vaclav Havel, the former President of the Czech Republic, speaks of the need for what he calls ``non-political politics’’ in dealing with matters of national interest. This involves every member of the community seeking to complement one another in pursuit of a goal that is greater than any of us.

Therefore, we need to rise above our political differences in pursuit of national inclusivity, redress and restoration that will finally take us across the historic bridge which our legislation refers to, between an unjust and violent past, and a future founded on the recognition of human rights and peace, which enables us to take forward the challenge of building a united and thriving nation.

May I say that this is a very important year. It marks the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption by any liberation movement of a complete Bill of rights. The African claims a document - it is a document that is precocious in its contents - four years before the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the basis for all subsequent development. It goes far beyond that in its references to one- person-one-vote or opposition to racialism and, particularly, the insertion of economic and social rights. It is very important that we have carried on the tradition of the invocation of human rights in the struggle and it remains necessary to ensure its protection.

So, the TRC has played an important role, as we have noted, in espousing and emphasising the moral significance of democracy in South Africa. In doing so, it has engaged in the work of memory dedicated to the struggle, in Milan Kundera’s familiar phrase of ``memory against forgetting’’. This work of memory was important. Although we should be critical of attempts to turn memory into myth-making, especially if such myths are only ways of avoiding historical accountability, the TRC was responsible for important memory work. To create a future, we must therefore take into account the past.

In doing so, the TRC recognised that a wishful and forgetful approach would simply serve to entrench past inequities, as they would not simply disappear of their own accord. They must be actively dismantled. In doing so, it acknowledged that to avert our eyes from the past is to tolerate it as a continuing phantom chauffeur on a seemingly new journey. The TRC enabled us to come to a reckoning of our past, which is crucial in ensuring that the corrective action processes, which flow from its work, do not lose their historical moorings and condemn us to moral and political drift.

Indeed, the TRC recognised that for genuine and meaningful reconciliation to take place, we must ensure moral and political restitution in the sense of what the Germans call wiedergutmachung'', which means to make good again’’ or, as we say in South Africa, ukubuyisana'',to return to each other’’. [Applause.] We cannot really enter into the process of making good the history of South Africa unless we acknowledge precisely the bad there is to undo. We cannot enter upon the rich and nuanced process of reconciliation armed only with mumbled banalities about the past being an innocent mistake and - I am very pleased to say - as the Leader of the Opposition has said, we must not close the door into the past.

What kind of memory of the past do we need to build a new South Africa? We need a memory based not on the bitter resentment of the past as is in fact laid down in the African claims document, but on the possibilities of reconciliation for the future. In doing so, we have followed the advice of that great Chilean member of the truth commission, Jose Zalaquett, who insisted that a society ``cannot reconcile itself on the grounds of a divided memory. Since memory is identity, this would result in a divided identity’’.

Memory, I should say, needs a place, a habitation and a name. Whilst a truism that those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it, the reverse comfort does not necessarily hold. A society may remember its past and nevertheless repeat it, or even surpass it in its cruelty. So Afrikaners suffering at the hands of British imperialism, awful as it was, early this century, actually fuelled the racial oppression of apartheid, rather than serving as an admonition against it.

Therefore we must, as part of the healing process, identify the common bonds that hold us together as a nation. The Constitution, for example, provides us with the basis for nation-building. In this way, we can in fact carry out ``ukubuyisana’’ in practice.

Since the devil can quote history to his or her own purpose, a simple factual record of the apartheid past, devoid of an ethical basis, would be of little value. What matters is not merely the fact that we remember history, but the way in which we remember it - in this context, one where we take full measure of the past. Our country can become a safer place for idealism, the sort of place that Seamus Heaney had in mind when he wrote of those rare times and places ``when hope and history rhyme’’.

It is between our divided past and our hopes for the future that we can only build such bridges, as anticipated in the TRC report, in the present. As we receive the Final Report of the TRC, we find another occasion to recommit ourselves to a central message that we need to acknowledge the ongoing efforts to bridge-building that will provide the moral and material basis for ensuring such a past is never again repeated.

In doing so, we should remember that the focus is on building, and not on restoration; of imagining afresh and starting anew. We are not restoring what was lost, as if we are returning to some golden age, prior to apartheid, of tolerance, understanding and multiculturalism. If we are going to fight back, what are we going to fight back about? Some return to some rights and ideals and some kind of requirement that’s vital for the maintenance of our democratic order? [Interjections.]

As Antjie Krog has noted, is reconciliation or restoration the right word in a country where there is nothing to go back to, no previous state or relationships one would wish to restore? Or is it, as she intimates, about the recovery of a lost humanity squandered on the violent pursuit of racial purity and ethnic self-interest?

As the TRC has revealed, we have been a wounded, divided and deeply scarred society. It would therefore be extremely foolish to remain complacent about the deep suspicions that continue to exist in the country, as exemplified, ironically, in some of the opposition to the inception of the TRC and its continued work. It would be foolish to expect that the severe corrosion of our human dignity would heal quickly and without purposeful effort. So, active reconciliation and focused attention to developing the values necessary to support our democracy are needed.

We cannot afford the amnesia out of any alleged fatigue about the past. We cannot afford to be fatigued about the past. So, in this work of bridge- building, we affirm that reparations must take the form not only of monetary compensation, but also other forms of redress. We were all struck by how often victims told the TRC that what they wanted was their loved ones to be found to be commemorated by a marker, a plaque or a memorial. The work of memorialisation, from shared monuments such as Freedom Park to individual grave markers, is a significant aspect of reparations. The issuing of death certificates, the expedition of reburials, and the facilitation of outstanding legal matters also respond to the needs of victims.

Financial reparation, therefore, is part of the redress, so funds have been set aside for reparations and other forms of reparations, and the President has referred to the Government’s obligation under section 27(1) of the TRC Act. The TRC, however, was mandated to deal with individual reparations for victims of gross violations, but we must also remember that the real and offensive gross violations affected over 35 million people through the policy of apartheid. Their suffering must also be addressed. It would be extremely insensitive and absurd to suggest that the victims of apartheid can be limited to only 22 000 people. Therefore, the class actions, as the President mentioned, currently being considered in the United States against multinational corporations that did business with the apartheid government are completely inappropriate as the assumption continues to individualise claims when the real crime against humanity was against an entire people whose right to self-determination was abolished.

South Africa must settle the issue for itself, and does not need the help of ambulance chasers and contingency operators, whether in Switzerland, the Netherlands or the United States of America. As South Africans, we have effectively dealt with our own historical challenges, and we will continue to do so. It is part of our sovereign right. And companies and individuals, I know, as part of this consensus, will have to deal with their own responsibility about what happened in the past, and the need to provide redress. This is the South African way of doing things, and we will not take any lessons from any courts from outside South Africa.

In this spirit, Parliament was directed by the interim Constitution, in terms of the TRC Act, to adopt a law providing for amnesty and which is introduced by the words `` in order to advance reconciliation and reconstruction’’. This unique association between reconciliation and reconstruction and of amnesty and reparation was a truly South African solution which has drawn the praise of the rest of the world. So, reconciliation is intrinsically linked to and part of the reconstruction of our country. Otherwise, as we have been warned by Archbishop Tutu, there will never be peace in our country.

This is because we recognise that the criminal act of apartheid was in and of itself the most fundamental violation of human rights, which permeated all parts of our society. We therefore cannot simply limit our response to that of individual reparations. Instead, we will do better to continue on our path to achieve sustainable collective redress through socioeconomic programmes that invest in people, eradicate poverty, create employment opportunities and redress the legacy of exclusion. This is the real task of reconciliation.

My task is a simple one: Individual healing ultimately requires a restored and healthy society within which the aggrieved person can, to the extent that is possible, get on with his or her life. This requires the creation of a society within which victims and survivors of past atrocities have reason to hope, and beyond hope, to expect to be able to find employment, to obtain adequate schooling for their children, and a decent roof under which family cohesion and respect can be generated. The creation of a balanced, stable and just society within which there are adequate social, education and health services for all must surely be the moral foundation for any reparations policy.

To suggest, therefore, that a monetary payment is all that a victim or survivor of a gross violation of human rights requires is insensitive. It smacks of ignorance and indifference. We must provide a policy that is more reasonable and more sensitive to the needs of our people than that. It is a policy that involves the need to heal the often haunting memories of those who have suffered. It involves access to social and health services. It involves time and, above all, space within which to remember and pay respect to those who have fallen in pursuit of democracy. It involves the public spaces where we, as a nation, can commit ourselves to remember as a basis for ensuring the atrocities of the past do not reoccur in the future.

Therefore, for true reconciliation, we must acknowledge the necessity for redress, best explained in the Afrikaans words ``regstellende aksie’’, which requires the need for corrective action by the state and is guaranteed by the Constitution.

In the end, we say we mark the contribution of the TRC as part of the process of learning about the past, part of that process which history will complete. Let us not forget that we have changed because of the work that South Africans undertook.

I end by referring to the prophetic call of our great leader, Albert Luthuli, who, almost 60 years ago, expressed the hope that ``here in South Africa, with all our diversities of colour and race, we will show the world a new pattern for democracy and set a new example for the world.’’

We have met the great Albert Luthuli’s wishes of 40 years ago. [Applause.]

Mr M A MNCWANGO: Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ministers and hon members, at the outset, I must express the IFP’s concern about the fact that the National Director of Public Prosecutions has already directed that prosecutions should begin regarding those alleged to have committed political crimes associated with the conflicts of the past but who did not apply for amnesty within the TRC process. If we are serious about closing the book of the past conflict, we need to let bygones be bygones, otherwise our future will continue to be bedevilled by our past. [Interjections.] A decision must be made to either not prosecute or promote an amnesty which will be administered by the judiciary.

As this Parliament considers the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we ought to debate it without approving it. It is tragic for democracy when any parliament or government adopts a document which purports to describe our past. Any government-endorsed version of history is an attack on the truth and an act of autocracy. We must merely note the report of the TRC and give it no status or special recognition. Its status and value will be determined by history as future historians tear its shortcomings apart and rewrite a more balanced and analytical account of our recent history.

Our Parliament should not become the object of the same criticisms which our posterity will undoubtedly level against this report and therefore contaminate ourselves by lending it the credibility of our approval. In fact, the TRC report is a flawed product of a flawed process conducted with flawed motives. [Interjections.] In the law which was adopted by this Parliament, the only statutory purpose of the TRC was that of promoting national reconciliation. To achieve that end and fulfil its sole purpose, the TRC was mandated to do three things: firstly, to undertake a truth- finding exercise; secondly, to administer amnesty; and, thirdly, to provide reparations. The TRC has abysmally failed to achieve its goal of promoting reconciliation. In fact, as this very debate incontrovertibly proves, its final report is a major setback on the path of reconciliation.

The IFP is fully committed to continuing to promote reconciliation at all costs and at all levels. For this reason, we must call upon all people of goodwill to be united in rejecting the TRC report, which has little to do with either truth or justice. [Interjections.] The TRC was foreshadowed in the interim Constitution which was finalised at the World Trade Centre and was the product of a bilateral political accommodation reached between the then ruling NP and ANC alliance. Both political forces had a vested interest in reducing the conflicts of the past into a bilateral paradigm which obliterated the role played, in our struggle for liberation, by the IFP and its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. [Interjections.]

The TRC was conceived, staffed and provisioned within the cultural paradigm of a bilateral conflict and the promoters of the armed struggle portrayed as the sole and authentic expression of the will of the oppressed majority on the one hand, and on the other hand the oppressor. There is no recognition that the liberation of all South Africans would not have come about without the relentless political on-the-ground work of Inkatha and the efforts made by its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to secure the release of all political prisoners and the unbanning of political parties. [Interjections.]

The many lies which were employed in the ’80s and the early ’90s to vilify Inkatha and its leader have yet to be expunged from the record of history, and they are at the basis of the TRC mindset in many of its findings. Accordingly, the TRC report may be valuable in increasing the understanding of the dynamics of black-on-white and white-on-black conflicts. However, it shows how clueless the TRC was in understanding and dealing with the dynamics, causes and episodes of the black-on-black conflict. The TRC was never staffed and equipped to adequately investigate the black-on-black conflict and expose the culpability of those who generated it. The best example of many of its shortcomings lies in the cavalier attitude with which it dealt with one of South Africa’s greatest tragedies which was the targeted killing of about 400 IFP leaders and office-bearers in a systematic plan of mass assassinations in their houses, public places and in their workplaces. Ngifuna ukuthatha leli thuba ngikhumbule ngokuhlonipha ubaba uMnu Sabela owabulawa eMlazi; futhi ngikhumbule ngokuhlonipha uBaba uSibiya owayeyinduna eWema, e-S J Smith Hostel, owabulawa kabi kanjalo. Ngithi angihloniphe kakhulu uMnu Moses Khumalo owayengusihlalo weziko leNkatha eMeadowlands; ngikhumbule uNksz Maki Sikhosana owaba ngowokuqala ukubulawa nge-necklacing; ngikhumbule nekhansela uDlamini waseVaal owabulawa ngayo le ndlela. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to father Mr Sabelo who was killed at Mlazi. I also pay tribute to father Mr Sibiya who was a headman in S J Smith Hostel in Wema, who was also brutally killed.

I would like to honour Mr Moses Khumalo who was the chairperson of the iNkatha branch in Meadowlands. I pay tribute to Ms Maki Sikhosana who was the first person to be necklaced. I also pay tribute to Councillor Dlamini of the Vaal who was also killed in a similar way.] The TRC findings about Inkatha and its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, remain outlandish and preposterous. To mention but a single example, the TRC failed to appreciate the fundamental element of law and fact that, as the former Minister of Police of the erstwhile KwaZulu government, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi had no operational control whatsoever over the KwaZulu Police which was effectively directed by a commissioner appointed by Pretoria in a system analogous to the present status of police forces in our provinces. [Interjections.] Therefore, holding him accountable in that representative capacity for action taken outside any chain of command by people loosely affiliated with the KwaZulu Police, as the TRC has done, is nothing short of outright bad faith.

The TRC was charged with the task of reconstructing the truth but it was not held to the standard of truth itself, nor was it equipped with any tool by means of which, through time immemorial, the truth is ascertained. Actually, in respect of the TRC, this Parliament has suspended the law of defamation which applies to all of us and all organs of state. The TRC enabling statute has allowed the TRC to make false findings which could not be challenged in court on the basis of their being untrue. It could do so for as long as someone gave false information to the TRC. There was no mechanism to expunge out of the TRC report such false information and ensure that the TRC findings were based only on information which had passed the scrutiny of a true-or-false test.

In fact, the TRC collected its information by means of statements of self- confessed murderers who were motivated to make such statements by their desperate need to receive amnesty for their crimes. They gave their evidence in a context in which no effective mechanism existed to verify the truthfulness of their statements such as cross examination, rebuttal of evidence or independent verification of facts and circumstances. Moreover, amnesty applicants were induced to embroider upon their stories because, under the law governing the TRC, their confessions of all the facts relevant to their applications and descriptions of their crimes were not sufficient. They were required to do much more without a clear indication of what that much more'' was. Many applications were declined because such much more’’ was not volunteered. They were required to make a full disclosure in respect of anything else which might have been relevant to the TRC’s task to reconstruct the conflicts of the past. Effectively, they knew that they had to please the TRC. Even that was not enough for people to receive amnesty. They also had to prove a connection between their heinous crimes and the political leadership of a party or organisation. They had to prove that what they did was part and parcel of an authorised political course of action.

It was extremely difficult for IFP applicants and many other applicants to meet those requirements in the light of the fact that the stated policy of the IFP and the millions of written and recorded pronouncements made by its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, always rejected violence and only allowed for the exercise of the common law right of self-defence. [Interjections.] Therefore, amnesty applicants outrightly invented that their crimes were ordered by the IFP leadership or that, in their own minds, they thought that they might have pleased the IFP leadership. However, even in this context, not one single witness could state that at any level of the IFP’s governing structures any gross human rights violation was ever authorised. None of such dubious witnesses could ever state that at any juncture of history the Inkatha leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, ever authorised or ordered any gross human rights violations. [Interjections.] He is the only leader involved in the conflict of the past who never ordered or authorised violence. [Interjections.]

It is significant … [Interjections.] Members should listen to this: It is significant that the top ANC leadership applied for blanket amnesty which covered 27 of its highest ranking leaders who, by virtue of such application, admitted under oath that they were guilty of gross violations of human rights. [Interjections.] It is also significant that the President of the Republic of South Africa admitted before the TRC that the ANC leadership had been involved in plotting the assassination of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. [Interjections.] This is in the very same report.

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, would you please take your seat.

Mrs S A SEATON: Madam Speaker, will you please ask the House to listen to our speaker. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! [Interjections.] Order! Hon members, I have repeatedly called for order. You will not serve the debate by drowning out speakers. Please proceed.

Mr M A MNCWANGO: Madam Speaker, I want to repeat this because members did not quite get it. [Interjections.] It is also significant that His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa admitted before the TRC that the ANC leadership had been involved in plotting the assassination of the hon Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. [Interjections.] I am not even mentioning the gross human rights violations which were committed by apartheid and the NP because, in that respect, the report is sufficiently revealing. Yet, the political party which became the victim of both the violence of the armed struggle and the violence of apartheid is portrayed in this report as the major promoter of violence. And, its leader is held politically accountable for the violence directed against its followers. That defies any logic.

The TRC’s bias is exposed in its pathetic scramble for any pretext to hold Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi accountable for the violence and real onslaught which was directed at Inkatha. The TRC found one single public speech of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi out of millions of documents of written private and public addresses in which he constantly upheld nonviolence. In that single 20-page document, the TRC found a single sentence which it twisted and turned around to indicate that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi supported violence when he had, indeed, merely indicated that the IFP had to oppose, at the political level, the ANC violence with all possible means. In the TRC’s pathetic mind, this was the smoking gun on which its entire preposterous reconstruction of history seemed to hinge.

As the IFP predicted, the entire TRC process was such that the combination of these various elements proved to be ideal to prompt people to lie and prepared the TRC to become a receptacle of discredited clichés of political propaganda and old lies used to vilify Inkatha and its leader. Like in many other inquisitions of which history bears memory, the supplicants ended up telling the inquisitors what they thought the inquisitors wanted to hear and regurgitated old lies and propaganda. Those who were confronted by the Spanish Inquisition confirmed doubtful sexual intercourse with the devil himself. Those who gave evidence to the TRC did not wish to antagonise the new ruling party and teamed up in the Buthelezi-and-Inkatha bashing exercise which the TRC was more than culturally and politically prepared to accept without any criticism.

The proof of that assertion is also found in the TRC’s reckless breach of section 30 of its governing statute which required it to give notice of its contemplated findings to those adversely affected by them, and to give some consideration to any objection or evidence that it received from them. This was the only means and available mechanism to correct errors and ensure some balance and impartiality in the report. But, in the case of the IFP and its leader, in respect of most of its findings the TRC failed to give such notice and when it gave it, it maintained its findings completely unaltered in spite of well-documented evidence produced to rebut that.

The TRC chose not to listen and did not want facts to get in the way of its propaganda. In truth, not one single fact alleged by the TRC detracts from the fundamental statement that at no time did Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi ever authorise, order, condone or ratify any gross human rights violations. Similarly, nothing can detract from the fundamental historical truth that the IFP was the victim of the armed struggle waged against it by the combined forces of the ANC, MK and the UDF because of our stand in favour of passive resistance and nonviolence, and our rejection of military action.

Once the history of South Africa is properly written in a more objective manner it will emerge that, had Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Inkatha embraced the armed struggle, the whole of South Africa would have been reduced to ashes leaving no spoils of war for the liberation day. [Interjections.] When history is properly rewritten, it will also emerge that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been the great unsung hero of our liberation struggle. [Interjections.] He always advocated the path of a negotiated solution which, in the end, triumphed. He was offered the opportunity of drafting a democratic constitution on a bilateral basis with the NP which would have provided democracy and universal suffrage before political prisoners were released and the prohibited parties unbanned. He refused to negotiate until all political parties were unbanned.

Whilst others were abroad, he mobilised our oppressed people by their millions and created bridges across the divide of apartheid. He created the basis on which the new South Africa was shaped. He really does not deserve the humiliation of the TRC’s slanderous publications. Since the beginning - members should listen to this - the IFP and its leader opposed the appointment of Archbishop Desmond Tutu as the Chairperson of TRC because of his inherent bias. Why? He was the official patron of the UDF - one of the major participants in the conflicts of the past on which the TRC had to shed light. [Interjections.] From the very beginning the TRC was biased on its intended purposes. For this reason, for me, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission remains a sensationalist circus of horrors presided over by some people who craved the centre-stage spotlight. I thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Madam Chairperson, President, Deputy President, representatives of the TRC, my colleagues in this House, there are moments in all our lives that are poignant - in this case sadly poignant. There are moments that condense emotion, intellect and strategic need in a very perplexing manner. They stretch our capacity to define what is right and wrong, what is wise and what is convenient.

This is such a moment for me. This debate is in itself a testimony to our endeavour and sacrifice. As I prepared my input, painful memories came to the surface. Around 21:00 many years ago in Pietermaritzburg we assured an old man that he was safe, even though he had given us vital information about the events in the misty hills around that town. Bullets ripped him apart less than 12 hours later. Lubovski, an advocate and Makathini, a trade unionist, were present then but are dead now. Their deaths occurred in different ways at different times. Whilst we tried to protect her we failed, and Bheki’s mother died. Senseless acts that walk ghost-like in our memories.

What we are about now is to lay these ghosts to rest with dignity and to build something new and valuable on these ashes. I survived and, like all of us who did, why we survived is never quite clear. What is clear is that as survivors our responsibility is to build and to reconcile. We remember not to revenge, but to honour and to draw the strength we need to carry out the reconstruction and development of our beloved land. [Applause.]

As we now consider the historic output of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission we must do so with circumspection and consideration of where we stand more than eight years after the first democratic election. What is now wise and just?

In considering the Government’s response to proposals for some form of reparation from the business sector, the Government must take into account the wider context of our economic transformation, as our President has outlined. The TRC had to look at actions to establish what had happened and to consider the reparations for victims of these past events. As Government we have to balance the need for reparations to persons with the necessary economic growth and development that will provide a structural redress to an iniquitous past. A structural redress is not the same as individual compensation, although the latter can be achieved to a greater or lesser extent within the former. However, what is critical, colleagues, is that the means of achieving structural redress, in essence an economic revolution, are distinct from the more limited actions required for individual compensation.

The approach of Government - my President has outlined this - has been to provide compensation to a limited number of individuals who have been identified, and for this considerable resources have been made available. For the millions of persons who were involved in the struggle with its hardship and sacrifice we need to take a different approach. Here our focus has been on achieving structural redress and bringing about greater equity as a basis for a growing economy that provides a better life for all. In this endeavour we are able to involve all citizens and thereby contribute to reconciliation through a common endeavour to achieve greater economic justice. This approach does take time and is complex. It is even inconvenient from the point of view of linking cause and effect.

This approach was first set out in the Reconstruction and Development Programme and has been implemented in various phases over the last eight to nine years. This is a consistent and managed process of economic reform that is designed to meet basic needs; develop all our human resources; rebuild our economy to make it competitive in a global economy; increase the level of participation by all in our institutions in the economy and society; coordinate our actions at all three spheres of Government and to retain macroeconomic stability so as to allow for certainty and economic predictability.

The achievements of this approach are growing with time. At the centre of our approach is to increase the levels of investment, economic and socio- economic in nature, so as to create jobs within a competitive economy and to ensure greater racial and geographic equality of economic opportunity. Within this process there has been a growing level of partnership between the public and private sector. After the Job Summit the formation of the Business Trust with specific joint objectives was part of this partnership. More recently the introduction of the Strategy for Black Economic Empowerment is another comprehensive process to achieve redress of the past structure of racial inequality. Further areas of common action will be identified in the Growth and Development Summit to be held within two months. In major charters, such as that in the mining industry, many other actions to develop communities are identified.

The question Government had to ask is, what would be the purpose of a once- off wealth tax or some other form of financial reparation from the business community? And secondly, if we adopted it, what would its impact be on our growth and development, which is the basis for a more prosperous future for all?

Would this reparation be designed to make resources available or is it a form of recompense or penance by white persons, specifically white persons who were part of the business community of the past? If the intention, even in part, is to raise funds, then we do not believe it is an advisable instrument. The success of our macroeconomic reform has eased the financial constraints we experienced earlier. And as the President indicated, we have never argued that finance is the obstacle.

The key consideration now is the efficacy of expenditure and the opportunity cost of any one form of expenditure against another. The Government is of the view that we have made funds available for all feasible forms of sustainable expenditure. We do not need to impose new taxes to spend on social areas, although obviously we can build new partnerships to do this. This does not mean of course that any possible situation can be financed. There are always constraints and limitations. What is considered is the efficacy of the expenditure within the overall objective of growth and development.

Any form of reparation should be lasting and extensive. From an economic and fiscal point of view, therefore, it is not prudent or even necessary to try and finance such lasting programmes from a once-off tax. The existing tax level can provide for social needs, whilst not acting as a disincentive for saving, investment or enterprise development. It should be pointed out that in order to normalise asset holdings and capital movements, the recently announced amnesty on illegally transferred funds will make funds available for black economic empowerment. As we reform the mining industry, the royalty on mining is in a sense a further form of redress, if you take it in that context. So further levies of any form is not considered necessary or wise.

If the purpose is to be recompense or penance, then the Government does not believe that this is a move that will enhance reconciliation at this time in our new democracy. We must now close this past as we build a future. As we have spelt out in the Strategy on Black Economic Empowerment, it is in the interests of every citizen that we achieve our objectives in this area. We need to act together, and white business is being called upon to go beyond the perceived scope of day-to-day business in order to ensure a prosperous future.

Reparations are being made in a challenging and exciting common action to build our economy for all so as to release its full potential for growth and development. Imposing a levy on business may have had a rationale when funds were short or common programmes non-existent, but its effects now will be counterproductive to what we are achieving. We cannot afford this in our economy as we drive to higher levels of growth and development on the basis of our successful economic reform. We also need to take into account that the process of black economic empowerment has already begun to meld black and white business interests and their collective future.

The practicality of a levy is complex and there can be no useful purpose served by adding a new levy to the emerging melding of black and white economic enterprise. To compensate individuals but to reduce our capacity for growth and development is not a wise choice and we need to stay within the approach that compensates a limited group and then drives for common action to improve the lives of all.

These are not easy balances to decide on and there are elements of justice in all possibilities. As a nation we have to find that balance that builds our future, but it is not easy. The considered opinion of the TRC certainly carries weight. However, the wider context and trajectory of our economic transformation that Government has to take into account must inform Government’s decision. We are sure that the business community will accept the challenge of working together to erase the divisions of our past and to build a collective future based on prosperity and justice for all.

It is for all the above reasons that we are opposed to - as the President has indicated - and indeed contemptuous of attempts to use unsound extra- territorial legal precepts in the USA to seek personal financial gain in South Africa. Whilst individuals have an inviolate right to recourse in law, and this is firmly entrenched in South Africa, it is an abuse to use the law, unsound law at that, of another land to undermine our sovereign right to settle our past and build our future as we see fit. South Africans involved in this break that indefinable collectivist identity that was the origin of our strength. The Government rejects the actions of legal practitioners in the USA to exploit our history and will not allow any judgement made in the USA or elsewhere to be carried out in South Africa.

The spirit of the TRC must now guide us as we work together to reconcile and to bring about growth and development. Together we have come to know what is right and our common reflection will guide us as to what is wise. Our greatest reparation for the realities of our past is to become a prosperous, peaceful and humane nation.

To the honourable member who spoke before me: I applied for amnesty and I got it. And I did it because I believe it is the best way to make a contribution to the future of our society. [Applause.].

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE: Chairperson, in many respects the TRC has straddled the historical divide between the old and the new South Africa. With its feet firmly rooted in our past, and its gaze fixed on our future, it has been one of the defining features of our first decade of democracy. As a country we have been sometimes outraged, sometimes shocked, and sometimes shamed by the evidence we have heard. We have wept with the victims and their families, and we have marvelled at the strength of the human spirit.

Although we are today closing the book on the proceedings of the TRC, and considering its final recommendations, we should also pause to make an honest evaluation of its work. It was always too high a standard to expect from the Commission to achieve 100% truth or 100% reconciliation. Yet, it did play a critical role in normalising our approach to life in our country. It provided a release valve for much of the hurt, pain, anger and anguish which resulted from the injustices and the oppression of apartheid.

Die werklike betekenis van die WVK lê nie net in sy bevindings en sy aanbevelings nie, maar ook in die feit dat die kommissie daartoe in staat was om sy loop te neem. Hoewel dit nie ‘n volmaakte proses was nie, was die WVK-proses net so nodig soos die aanvanklike onderhandelinge wat uiteindelik die nuwe demokratiese Suid-Afrika daargestel het.

In ons land waar ons uit verskillende agtergronde kom, sou die proses om verskillende ervarings met mekaar te versoen, en waardering daarvoor te skep, altyd ‘n pynlike, maar ook soms ‘n kontroversiële ervaring wees. Die WVK het daartoe bygedra om die fondament te lê waarop bruin, swart, wit en Indiër kan bou aan ‘n gesamentlike toekoms. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The real meaning of the TRC does not lie in its findings and recommendations only, but also in the fact that the Commission was able to take its course. Although it was not a perfect process, the TRC process was just as necessary as the initial negotiations that eventually established the new democratic South Africa. In our country, where we come from different backgrounds, the process of reconciling the various experiences with one another, and creating an appreciation for it, would always be a painful, but also sometimes controversial experience. The TRC contributed to laying the foundation on which brown, black, white and Indian can build together on a joint future.]

As a nation, our thanks must be extended to Archbishop Tutu and the other commissioners, and also the staff of the TRC. [Applause.] Even more than the rest of South Africa, they must have known that many observers would either criticise the final report of the Commission, or dismiss its findings as biased or irrelevant a decade after the fact. Despite this, they have rendered a significant service to South Africa; a service with regard to addressing our past in order to strengthen our future resolve. The TRC has assisted us, once on different sides of history, to be part today of building our common future.

The New NP has also certainly been critical of some aspects of this process, like the composition of the Commission, and the remarks and conduct of certain commissioners during the process. But on balance, the positive aspects have outweighed the negative ones. The TRC opened our eyes to incidents and issues to which we might otherwise have been oblivious. This was particularly true of the individual experiences which were shared; of families and loved-ones missing; of innocent victims of bravery, depravity and tragic loss.

What the TRC did not reveal, because it could not, were the hundreds of thousands of untold experiences. In asking: “What now for reconciliation in South Africa?”, the answer must always remain: We must ensure that the many told and untold experiences are never repeated.

The TRC has shared with us all one part of the story of our country. Another part, the largely untold narratives, are also about the loss of opportunity and the degradation of human dignity, like that of May Abrahamse. Born in the heart of District Six, she is one of the most talented South African performers who has ever lived. She portrayed the leading female characters in a host of musicals, and she sang leading soprano roles in major operas. But in the apartheid years, at the height of her talent, she was never given the opportunity to perform as a soloist at any of the major opera houses. Instead, she went about teaching, and imparting her talent and technique to countless young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It was only in 2001 that she appeared for the first time on stage at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. Last week in the Western Cape, May Abrahamse received provincial government honours for her lifelong achievements and dedication. [Applause.]

Nor was the experience mentioned of Gary Boshoff, one of the many talented and exceptional coloured sportsmen who were denied the opportunity to represent their country at the highest competitive level. Born in Caledon, here in the Boland, he started playing representative rugby in 1984, and he was selected to play for Saru in that same year. In 1989, linked to a bursary to continue his studies at Oxford, he was presented with an opportunity to play in the Oxford-Cambridge Derby, anybody’s dream. Given his personal commitment to Saru’s policy, that prohibited its members from playing international rugby at the time, he declined that opportunity.

In 2001, along with other coloured and black players who were denied the opportunity to represent their country at international level, he finally received his Springbok blazer. Today Gary is the CEO of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union in Pretoria. [Applause.]

The truth is that the experiences of thousands of May Abrahamses and Gary Boshoffs went untold in the TRC process. In this sense, every day in South Africa is about truth and reconciliation, about dealing with the inheritance of our past, and we all have a collective and a personal role to play in this regard.

Turning specifically to the issue of reparations, former President Mandela, speaking during a special debate on the TRC report in February 1999 in this House, acknowledged that reparations can only ever be symbolic, never in proportion to the extent of the suffering and the sacrifice of so many of our people. In his words:

The best reparation for the suffering of victims and communities, and the highest recognition of their efforts, is the transformation of our society into one which makes a living reality of the human rights for which they struggled.

The New NP fully endorses this sentiment. At the same time, though, it is of great importance that final reparations are paid to specific victims. The process of monetary reparations to individuals does, however, not nullify the need for a wider process of addressing the inequalities created by our past. The New NP favours the idea of a closed list; that those who have appeared before the commission, and have been part of the TRC process, should receive reparation payments. President Mbeki previously, in another debate in this House, said:

We must, however, also make the point that no genuine fighter for the liberation of our people ever engaged in struggle for personal gain. There are many who laid down their lives, many who lost their limbs, many who are today disabled and many who spent their best years in apartheid prisons. None of these expected a reward, except freedom itself.

Those of us who have not been part of this liberation struggle cannot pretend to fully understand the sentiment, but coming from a people who have been part of a liberation struggle, I recognise the sentiments. [Applause.] These sentiments are noble, and that is why they are respected. Liberation struggles should always be for the common good, and the willingness to state that fearlessly pays tribute to those who have made huge sacrifices.

The essence of these sentiments is not to downplay the importance of monetary reparations, nor the symbolism of this kind of compensation. The essence is that once-off reparations are never sufficient in, and of, themselves. At the most basic level, the New NP believes that what South Africa needs, most urgently, in the post-TRC period, is a true reparation of the spirit. The restoration of real human dignity will be the only lasting solution to the legacy of racial discrimination.

How best can we correct the imbalances of the past, particularly for those victims of discrimination who were not part of the TRC process? By ensuring that the real reparations are ongoing, almost on a daily basis. The most important means of achieving this goal is by rooting out poverty and creating jobs, by empowering our future generations through better quality education and by expanding the ownership of our economy, for instance, through fast-tracked land reform programmes.

The New NP is in favour of special interventions in order to address the inherited imbalances in education, as well as the skew distribution of the ownership of land. In order to address these, and other related issues, we would strongly support Government and private sector initiatives to inject new capital into upgrading the education system, fast-tracking land reform, and the settlement of farmers from disadvantaged communities. [Applause.] We believe that the goodwill exists for new public-private partnerships to be formed for empowerment in these spheres on the basis that the financial contribution from the business sector is matched rand for rand by the Government.

Regardless of the format that it will take, the fact that there is wide agreement on the need for broader reparations illustrates that we, as South Africans, understand that we must collectively address the legacy of our past, and that the will is there to do so.

It would be unseemly, that was one of the proposals from the side of the TRC, that 10 years into our new democracy, the President should apologise on behalf of the security forces and state apparatus of the former Government.

The President has given South Africans the assurance that our Government will never allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated. This is not an undertaking which should be taken lightly, especially with so many prophets of doom contending that it is only a matter of time before South Africa degenerates into a second Zimbabwe. [Interjections.]

President Mbeki’s undertaking also places a heavy burden on the Head of State, the Government and the majority in our country, especially in a multiracial society like South Africa. I say this, because conventional wisdom is that after a period of goodwill, multiracial societies often fall back into polarisation along racial and ethnic lines, propelled by those whose interests are served by fuelling division and polarisation.

The New NP is particularly encouraged by the signs of maturity in the discourse in our country with regard to writing our history, and giving due recognition to our past. [Applause.] The Freedom Park Project is exactly what this commitment is about. Recording the struggles of those who have fallen to slavery, genocide, wars of resistance, the liberation struggle, the Anglo-Boer War and both World Wars. Building our shared future entails acknowledgement of, and respect for, the different strands of our common history, and a serious awareness of the need for inclusivity.

The message to minority communities in South Africa is one of invitation to be part, not only of the process of healing, but also of the process of building. For the white community specifically, those who in the past were in positions of power, the time has come to leave aside feelings of depression about power lost, to leave aside the unqualified glorification of the past, longing for those times will never, and must never, bring them back. [Applause.] Instead, the invitation for the white community is to understand and embrace the challenges of the present and our joint future.

Confronted, as we are in South Africa, by a critical choice for minority communities between retreating into a laager of self-interest and self- pity, or making a positive contribution to the mainstream of politics, the choice is self-evident. Instead of complaining and wallowing in the depression of the loss of privilege, the white community should rather celebrate being part of a much bigger South African whole. [Applause.]

There are many people in the white community who stand ready to join with us and become builders in the process of reconciliation. [Applause.] For the coloured community this is also true. However, many people in the coloured community who were victimised by our past still feel that the doors in the new South Africa have not fully opened for all South Africans.

Noble intentions are one thing, but living reconciliation is quite another. It is a symbol of the power of reconciliation that today Franklin Sonn can be the President of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, and David Piedt can be the Chairperson of the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees. We have taken massive steps forward, and there are countless examples of what we can achieve together. There is, however, much more still to be done.

In conclusion, the first 10 years of our democracy have partly been taken up by dealing with our past. Up until now that has stood between us as South Africans. Now that we can agree on the formula for dealing with that, we must ask ourselves what more stands between us as we deal with the challenges of our future. [Interjections.]

The TRC has assisted us in peering into the abyss, and together we have said: “never again”. Now we must live that commitment. The New NP commits itself to doing just that, and that is to build this country, hand in hand, with the black majority. [Applause.]

Ms S D MOTUBATSE-HOUNKPATIN: Madam Speaker, President, Deputy President, Premiers, hon members and fellow South Africans, the reason South Africans went to the polls in millions in 1994 is because all were tired of bloodshed, dictatorship and racial domination. They needed a government that would restore their dignity, change their material conditions, transform their political, economic and social lives and do away completely with the cruel apartheid system. That is why today in debating this TRC report we want to say it loud that as South Africans we celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.

The TRC is one of the vehicles which was established during the transition period to allow our people from different backgrounds to find a platform …

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, I ask you to conduct your conversations rather more quietly. Proceed hon member.

Ms S D MOTUBATSE-HOUNKPATIN: … for dealing with the ills and atrocities of apartheid. The victims were allowed to share their pain publicly, they allowed the perpetrators to accept their role in causing the pain. It was a window for achieving social justice while dealing with the past, healing ourselves and reconciling so that we can build a new nation, South Africa.

Yes, it was important for us as South Africans to know the truth, to allow the truth to be told, to accept the truth, to deal with the truth so that we can start the healing process. To reconcile in our inner self first as individuals especially those who were hurt, the survivors.

Ke eme mo khwi ke sena sekgopi le se se nnyane. Di fetile ka moka, bjalo ke mofenyi. [I stand here without any ill feeling. All is past and gone as a survivor.]

Madam Chairperson, what we learnt from the Bible is that when the Israelites left Egypt where they were slaves, they faced difficulties, they were tired from a long journey and not having sufficient food, they faced rains and heat - hence they started complaining and got divided. This is not what the TRC report in front of us is about today. It is not going to divide us as South Africans. The purpose of the TRC is to help us deal with the past, to help us heal and create a better South Africa where atrocities will never be repeated again.

We should actually celebrate this triumph of the human spirit and by so doing we will emerge victorious. There is no price that can be attached to life. Money cannot replace human life. We agree that the Government should pay the money already allocated for reparations, but we do not see monetary payouts as the only way to compensate those who are hurt. The policies that the Government has adopted should be implemented fully, especially Batho Pele.

Ga re swareng batho bageso, batho ba ga bo rena ka hlompho le mabobo, re dire go re mesomo ya rena re a e phethisa moo re le go gona. Ke kgopela go re nke ke tsene mo tabeng ye ya batho bao ba ilego ba se tsebje gore ba feletse kae, le batho bao ba ilego ba epelwa ke bao be bego ba ba bolaile.

Ka ngwaga wa 1993-1996, re bone malapa a mantshi a hwetas go re go dirageste eng ka baratuwa ba bona. Eupsa seo se lego mohlaloganyong ya ka gabotsebotse seo nka se se lebalego ke gore lelapa le lengwe leo le bego le arogantswe ke dikgaruru tseo di bego di hlolwa ke Mmusong wa pele le ile la re go hwetsa masapo a ngwana wa bona gwa ba le poelana ka lapeng. Batswadi ba ile ba kgona go swarelana ka ge ba be ba se sa tshepana ka go re mang o dirile eng mans a se a dira eng? Ke seo poelano ye re e nyakago go re e thome ka malapeng a rena e thome go rena pele e etla setshabeng ka moka.

Lehono re kgona go hlakana ka moka ra swarana ka diatla re le bana ba mabu. Bana ba Afrika Borwa ka moka. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)

[Let us treat our people with respect and pride. We must make sure that we perform our duties to the maximum. May I raise the point about the issue of people who disappeared and their whereabouts were unknown and the exhumations.

During 1993-1996 we saw many families discovering what had happened to their beloved. But what is still in my mind, and that I will never forget, is that one family’s reburial of their son brought reconciliation and a family coming together after they were separated by apartheid. Parents forgave each other as they were always blaming each other.

This is why we want reconciliation to start in our families, then in the communities. Today we are able to meet each other and greet all as fellow South Africans.]

It is true that those who died did not die in vain, so let us remember those people with dignity and the contribution that they made to this country. Let us work to ensure that the next generations can be proud of us.

I like Bible stories, and what I learnt from the Bible is that God is a God of mercy, not a God of pity. When you give mercy to a person according to the Bible, you allow the person to acknowledge his mistakes and his bad tendencies and repent. But if you feel pity for a person you end up giving a compassionate love, and not making the person take the responsibility. That is what the TRC is about, to allow people to acknowledge so that we can give them a chance in life.

I wish to salute the ANC leadership, because in spite of the suffering that was caused to them, none of them were resentful when they worked on this process. They never allowed resentment to push their beliefs or to influence their plans. This was one of the mistakes that made the then National Party - not the New National Party - who took over in 1948 from the United Party resentful. Therefore, they could not be rational in doing certain things, they tended to protect themselves.

Judaism also teaches us that the one who bears a grudge acts like the one who, after having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand. Surely, this is not what we want as South Africans.

Some months ago there was a commemoration of the Anglo-Boer War and there were concerns raised that we have to acknowledge the women of South Africa

  • especially those who died during the Anglo-Boer War - and the women in Winburg who participated in fighting apartheid.

Earlier on the President spoke about the Freedom Park which is one of the legacy projects. I would like to make concrete proposals here because we know that in many countries we have learnt what they did after their wars. In Voltaire’s words, ``working takes away from us three great evils: boredom, vice and need’’. As human beings we can do a lot of work in our locals because we can engage in practical projects that will help us to heal and to continue as a nation.

In the ANC also, there was an adoption of Vukuzenzele. In Sesotho they say ``Moketa ho tsoswa o itsosang, Kgomo go tsoswa yeo e itsosang’’. Ka lona leo ge o lebelela dilo tse ka moka ka maleme ka moka di a twelela. Seo se ra go re batho ba rena ga ba nyake go no dula ba amogele seo se tswago mo Mmusong. Ga se tsela yeo ba bego ba phela ka yona pele go e tla apartheid. Ke tlo kgopel a gore ke laetsane le setshaba go re go na le dilo tseo re ka di dirago moo re lego gona.

Sa pele … (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)

[We find those expressions in all languages. This is a sign that our people do not believe in hand-outs from the Government. This is not how they lived during the apartheid era. I would like to plead to the community that they should know that there are things they can do in their community areas.]

Firstly, if we utilise our school walls, maybe we can dedicate one side of the wall to write the names of the fallen heroes that were former pupils at the school and so tell our new learners about those heroes. This will also help the new generation. We need to write short stories in simple language about the heroes in our areas. We have started the process of naming buildings, places and parks, but from the Government’s side it is necessary to transform our museums to reflect the history and culture of all South Africans.

There is a need to build graves for unknown soldiers. In some countries there is a wall with lists of names with an oil light which symbolises the spirits of fallen heroes that will live on. We need to take care of the graves of other South Africans who are buried in the neighbouring countries. We know that there are burial sites which are dedicated to South Africa, in Zambia and Tanzania. These people did not choose to go and die there, they had to leave because the situation was unbearable.

I want to thank our communities for participating in the process of the TRC and for the role the comrades played during the TRC. A few weeks ago we saw one of the comrades, comrade Helen Pastoors, who received amnesty a few years ago. I do not want to forget some of the comrades like Esther Maleka, Dorothy Nyembe, Miss Mmini,

A ke tsebe leina la gagwe efela ke a tseba gore ke morwedi wa Vuyisile Mmini, ka karolo yeo ba e bapetsego mo ntweng ya rena. Ke kgopela gape go gopotsa Morena Mncwango go re re leboge mosomo wa Archbishop Desmond Tutu le bao a bego a somisana le bona. Re boele re mo leboge, re gopole ka seo a kilego a se dira kua Graaf Reinette ka lehu la Sobukwe ge a be a thibela lesaba gore le seke la bolaya Morena Buthelezi. [Applause.] Ke kgopela goreÿ.ÿ.ÿ. Ke tseo re ilego ra di hwetsa dikuranteng le gohle go re batho ba be ba leka go mmolaya, ga re tsebe go re ke nnete goba ga se nnete. Eupsa ke seo se bego se diragetse. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)

[I do not know her name, but I know she is the daughter of Vuyisile Mnini with the role they played in our struggle.

I would like to remind Mr Mncwango that we should remember all the works of Desmond Tutu and his co-workers. Again we should thank him and remember what he has done at Graaff-Reinet at the time of the death of Sobukwe when he stopped the masses from killing Dr Buthelezi [Applause.]]


Ms S MOTUBATSE-HOUNKPATIN: All this was written in the newspapers and all over that people were trying to kill Dr Buthelezi and we do not know the truth of everything but this is all that happened then.

When hon Mncwango was speaking, he reminded me of the googles.

Ke kgopela go re re le MaAfrika Borwa ka moka,re swaraneng ka diatla re tswele pele, re tsebe gore ye ya rena naga e ka se hlwe e sa buswa ka lerumo. Di le gona ditshipi tseo di nago le mmala tseo diphatsimago goba di se gona. Ye ya rena naga e ka sehlwe e boela moo. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)

[I am asking that all South Africans unite and move forward and know that our country will never be ruined by fighting. With or without armies our country will never turn back.]

Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, hon President, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, the TRC report is well put together and a lot of attention has been given to detail. The report primarily consists of page after page of testimony and reconstruction of events that various applicants brought to the TRC in their applications for amnesty. With regards to its effectiveness in achieving its stated aims and objectives, I personally feel the TRC process fell short in some respects.

As a process in promoting the uncovering of truth about what really happened, it proved to be effective at times, but lacked the power to truly force people with the correct information to testify or give incriminating evidence against those who refused to take part in the process.

A lot of criticism has been levelled against the TRC because it is widely believed to have gone beyond its mandate with regard to business reparations. The most controversial of all the TRC findings is that businesses that benefited from apartheid be made to pay reparation to victims. The TRC report also argues in favour of claims by victims of apartheid against foreign banks and companies that are accused of bankrolling the apartheid state.

Although we do not agree with all the recommendations made by the TRC, we nevertheless believe that they are a genuine attempt to solve a complex problem of making reparation and closing a painful chapter of our history.

The ACDP agrees with the TRC that the hon President of the Republic of South Africa, as Head of State, should apologise to all victims on behalf of those members of the security forces of the former state and those armed forces of the liberation movements who committed gross violations of human rights. This will not be the first time a head of state makes an apology for wrongs done by his subjects in the interests of peace and reconciliation. That is why the ACDP argues that the President should do it in the interests of national reconciliation.

Jesus Christ was the first person to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the guilty. He actually carried our guilt to make reconciliation between God and all sinful mankind possible. This was a good example for all leaders and heads of state to follow.

I agree with the President that imposing the so-called wealth tax on business and industry, as proposed by the TRC, would not be a proper thing to do. [Interjections.] We can talk about that. South Africans are already languishing under a heavy tax burden. To the President, I say: Thank you for doing the right thing in this matter.

Government is correct in believing that all South Africans must contribute to the Reparation Fund, rather than targeting companies, many of whom contributed and are still contributing to the creation of jobs and the maintenance of our infrastructure. The President told us that members of Government will be setting an example by being the first to contribute to the Reparation Fund. All other MPs and civil servants will find it easy to follow such an example.

There are many willing individuals and corporations whose conscience must be pricked and appealed to, who should be approached and asked to contribute to the Reparation Fund. The ACDP believes that the Government must be commended for deciding to use the carrot and not the stick. If there are incentives there will be corporations that will give generously, and honoured citizens of this beautiful country will also follow suit.

I believe this concluding debate on the Final Report of the TRC has the potential of ushering in peace, forgiveness and reconciliation which we are hoping and praying for, or the potential of further dividing the nation on terms which may embarrass some of us.

My closing remarks, therefore, will be to repeat what I said a few years ago, as I believe it is still relevant today. Violation of human rights that were committed by some parties were repeatedly exposed while others were not. Parties whose members were involved in acts of violence were not equally treated.

It is a fact that the TRC has been used in some instances as a political tool designed to discredit political opponents. The activities of the TRC have primarily focused on the violence between black and white, while ignoring the black-on-black violence that resulted in the necklacing of hundreds, if not thousands, of people, among them many innocent people who were suspected of being either spies, sell-outs or collaborators.

I want to plead with the President, his Deputy and members of this Parliament that we bring this painful process to an end by agreeing to talk about how restitution and reparations should be made instead of talking about or allowing selective prosecutions to take place. For the sake of the future of this country, let us admit that mistakes and abuses were committed by many of those who worked for the previous government and many of those who were violently opposed to the previous government. We should support the prosecution of all those who are guilty of human rights violations, whether they appeared before the TRC or not, or we should not support the prosecution of a few unfortunate ones who do not belong to a particular party. [Interjections.]

The President told us that Government has heeded the call for a national day of prayer and traditional sacrifice. The ACDP proposes that this should be a national day of prayer, repentance and reconciliation and healing, instead of just a traditional sacrifice.

South Africa will not have genuine reconciliation without acknowledging the Almighty God, because reconciliation has to start in the heart and this is the time for every one of us to look deep into our own heart and see what have we done and how can we contribute towards building a new South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr B H HOLOMISA: Chairperson, Mr President … [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order! Hon members, please keep your private conversations private. Proceed, hon member.

Mr B H HOLOMISA: Mr President, Deputy President, hon Premiers and hon members, we would be mistaken if we believed that this Final Report of the TRC is the last word on human rights abuses that occurred under apartheid. There are still people who refuse to testify, whilst others applied for blanket amnesty and failed. The whole truth has not been revealed.

Nonetheless, we must thank the TRC commissioners and their staff, as well as the many people who came forward to testify. They have shed light on the scale of the human suffering perpetrated upon the people of this country by the apartheid regime. What must happen now as speedily as possible is that those who have bared their souls before the TRC, and who have been proved to be victims of gross human rights violations, must receive reparation.

What the TRC process has very forcefully demonstrated is that the history of momentous events extend beyond the names of famous and notorious role- players. Indeed, the TRC has taught us and the world that it is always the ordinary man, woman or child who suffers the most, fights the hardest and eventually makes the defining difference that changes the landscape of a country for ever. We must salute these people and remember them with equal, if not more, passion than that which we bestow upon the great names of heroes and villains.

These ordinary yet great people have also demonstrated to the world the meaning of ubuntu and the true heart of all South Africans, because they have forgiven even when they cannot forget.

The victims of apartheid have a legitimate expectation that their quality of life would be improved, either through the payment of reparations, or the creation of job opportunities by the companies that were barred from doing business in South Africa because of sanctions that could now return and invest in the country, and that economically they would be emancipated.

However, the victims of apartheid are disappointed that some South African firms have moved billions of rands abroad since 1994 under the guise of foreign expunction. In some cases this appears to reflect a lack of faith in the new democratic dispensation. Indeed, the would-be investors from abroad have questioned the rationale of this sudden exodus of capital, causing reluctance on their part to invest in our country.

In hindsignt, the terms of reference of the TRC should have been more specific with regard to the role of business in the apartheid years. That is why I said earlier that the last word has not been spoken with regard to this final report. As a result some South Africans are now taking the matter of South African and foreign business who continued to operate here in spite of sanctions to court. Already the media reports in this regard have damaged the shares of South African companies and threatened the overall strength of the JSE. Therefore, Government should consider intervening between the affected parties in this latest salvo with a view to finding an amicable solution that will avoid further harm to the economy.

I would advise the Government to meet around a table with business, victims’ representatives and the lawyers that are fighting lawsuits in order to find a solution to the claims of the victims of apartheid. Already we hear that an emergency summit may be called between all stakeholders from 28 to 30 April this year. It would be in the Government’s best interest if it became involved at an early stage to allay fears that it does not care about the victims of apartheid, while also providing it with an opportunity to seek a mutually acceptable settlement.

The TRC was also not the first word on the subject of reconciliation. One thing that we should be proud of is that we are a forgiving nation. By the time the TRC process was launched, the vast majority of South Africans had already embraced each other. The goodwill between President Mandela and De Klerk ensured that the country did not stray and fall into the abyss. Similarly, it was the forgiving spirit of South Africans that prevented a large-scale massacre in the days following that fateful event 10 years ago when Chris Hani was assassinated. It is for the same reason that many people who testified before the TRC could easily forgive people identified during the whole process as perpetrators of gross human rights violations.

Despite all the positive gestures by the former NP leadership, it is a sad fact that they largely avoided the TRC process, while their juniors went to testify - the people who took orders, who went to face their victims. But those who issued the orders ran away. We owe the TRC a debt of gratitude for exposing the former NP government’s hypocrisy, which unbanned organisations, but months later were still planning military actions against these organisations and their sympathisers. The TRC has vindicated the suspicion held by some of us that depsite the unbanning of the liberation movements in February 1990, military operations that were effectively anti-ANC were being planned as late as June 1991.

One hopes that the victims identified, who are to receive reparations, will include the families of those people who were massacred in trains and hostels during the early nineties.

When the NP government, as early as 1988, identified the Transkei government as being sympathetic to the liberation movement, they began to destabilise the region through financial sanctions and five separate assassination plots or attempts against me. Of course, the Big Brother back then denied these actions. [Interjections.] But, thanks to the TRC, the truth was exposed by the former soldiers of the SADF and the SA Police officers who applied for amnesty for their role in these actions. Personally, I bear no grudge against them. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO: Chairperson, Your Excellency the President, Deputy President, fellow members, we debate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in the month of April, the month of the assassination of Chris Hani, which in my view, precipitated the demise of the late president of the African National Congress, Oliver Tambo. This is also the month in which Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu was hanged some years ago. We take this moment to salute the memory of these great martyrs, and through them countless others who laid down their lives so that we could be free. We salute those who carry physical scars visited upon them by the monstrosity known as apartheid. We salute those who bear psychological scars, like Solomon Mahlangu’s comrade, Comrade Motloung. I don’t know how many of you still remember him. We embrace the apartheid orphans, widows and widowers.

The release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report adds a new chapter on our long and protracted road to freedom. The hour has come for us to collectively look back and with the advantage of hindsight acknowledge the horrors visited upon an entire people. The dehumanisation was carried out by a regime who could best be described as heartless.

We call upon those who claim not to have known to acquaint themselves with the contents of the report. They must do so in order to understand the crimes that were committed in their name. They must also do so in order to come to terms with the brutalities of that regime. Only then would they find it possible to embrace their fellow compatriots as equal humans. Only then would they not flock to the vanquished white laager which has been already thrown into the dustbins of history. Only then would they understand that no one would be right to fight back the frontiers of freedom and liberation of their fellow compatriots. They would then not believe the prophets of doom who blame our Government for the sins of apartheid.

Some are urging us to in fact forget the past. We are told to forget the past and indulge in collective amnesia. We are condemned for not plastering over our scars. They believe that reconciliation is possible only when the victim apologises to the perpetrator.

We are of the view that this report is a mirror which must continue to remind all of us as to where we came from. It is also a road sign that must guide us away from an abyss where we could lose our humanity by denying the humanity of our fellow human beings. We are ready and willing as well as able to forgive, but forget, never. We shall follow the new road signs as we push back the frontiers of poverty, as we restore the dignity of our people and also the dignity of the oppressor and as we fight for a better life for all.

If the truth were to be told, the biggest achievement of the past nine years was in the restoration of dignity to our people. It cannot be reduced to mortar and brick. It is about us being new human beings, having a place under the sun in the land of our ancestors. Of course, the past nine years have seen us make strides that were thought impossible in our pursuit to ensure that we deliver a better life for all. We had to create institutions that did not exist because this change that has happened in this country was no less than a revolution.

As we maintained, under the conditions of apartheid we would always say apartheid cannot be reformed but it must be destroyed. And when you destroy, as we did, the institutions of apartheid it means creating new institutions which were fragile. But even with those fragile institutions, we were able to perform the miracles that we have performed.

It cannot be business as usual after this TRC report has been released. I think we have to shift our mindsets as South Africans. We need a revolutionary paradigm shift so that the divisions that have existed between town and countryside begin to be addressed in a very vigorous and consistent way. We have to begin. Even those of us who are in rural provinces tend to concentrate our energies on the towns and leave the countryside to itself. So, we need to begin to have that paradigm shift as a tribute to the martyrs who have died for the liberation and also as part and parcel of our collective effort at reconciliation and reparation.

We also need to begin to deal with the divisions between the rich and the poor parts of the country. In other words, you would find that the companies that operate at a primary level in very poor parts of the country go and beneficiate at other parts of the country. So, we need to then begin to say as part of reparations, what is it that can be done so that if there are new institutions which are being built they should be built in those primary areas. I think that requires a lot of debate and engagement on our part because if that doesn’t happen, what then happens is that the people leave the rural areas and come and squat in towns and it becomes impossible for us to provide them with shelter and all other things that must go along with that. So, stabilising communities in their own environment becomes part of reparation. [Applause.] But it also allows us to use the resources in a way that would not be under undue pressure.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Archbishop Tutu and his colleagues for an excellent piece of work. I think they have given us reason to hope; they have given us a foundation to begin on. I thank you. [Applause.]

Dr P W A MULDER: Chairperson, Mr President, it was a Sunday afternoon, 15 December 1985, the Van Eck and De Nysschen families of Messina were enjoying the summer afternoon together. They decided to go for a short drive on their game farm. The two men sat in the front seats and the wives and children were on the back of the bakkie. The next moment they detonated a landmine. The two women and the four children in the back were killed. The husbands later testified how they picked up body parts in the trees after that explosion. I saw the pictures of little Kobus, three years old and Ignatius, two years old. It was enough to motivate me to fight the ANC until the bitter end - whatever that may require. That is where we are from. Remember that. According to the TRC report on page 870, this was part of an ANC landmine campaign aimed at military patrols in the border regions. Sir, that is not true. It was miles from the border. It was a private road, never used by military patrols. The Van Eck and De Nysschen families were ordinary civilians with no military connections. The three MK operatives were granted amnesty. They received amnesty long before the TRC was established. They received amnesty as part of the record of understanding before 1994. If you take the Indemnity Act of 1990, the Pretoria Agreement and the Record of Understanding between the ANC and the NP government, more than 20 000 ANC supporters and members received indemnity before the TRC even started; indemnity because their motives were political.

Why is it important, Sir? Because it explains why so few ANC operatives and so many of the security forces from the previous government applied for amnesty before the TRC. Of the 7 000 that applied, 6 000 were denied amnesty. Seventy per cent of these are from the previous government. Many of them are today still in jail. Their motives were political and their offences not different from the 20 000 ANC supporters that walked free without a TRC Norgard test. Can someone come and explain this at my meetings during question time, after I was brave enough to speak about reconciliation, and I do that every night and you can come and listen.

I was a member of our delegation at Kempton Park in 1993 negotiating with the ANC. I believe that that was important then. For this I was kicked out of my previous political party. Mr Fanie van der Merwe and Mr Mac Maharaj, with the help of Gen Johan van der Merwe drafted the post amble of the Interim Constitution. It read:

There is a need for understanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparation but not for retaliation, a need for ubuntu but not for victimisation.

I ask, Sir: What is the alternative? That there is no need for understanding, but for vengeance? It cannot be. No need for reparation but retaliation? No need for ubuntu but for victimisation? That cannot be the answer. This is how many Afrikaners felt after the Amanzimtoti ANC bomb in 1985; or after the limpet mine in the Benoni Wimpy on 30 July 1988 that killed innocent civilians. Of course, that is also how the ANC felt after the incident mentioned in the report. That is why we are talking and trying to get somewhere.

Die vraag is: Hoe sluit ons hierdie hoofstuk in ons geskiedenis af? Deur Kill the Boer'' ofKill the Blacks’’ te skreeu? Dit gaan ons nie help nie. As Afrikaner is ek bereid om hier te staan, om deurlopend met my mense te praat oor versoening en samewerking, en verwag ek dieselfde van ander leiers.

Die slagoffers van die stryd, aan albei kante, moet vergoeding kry so gou as moontlik soos aangekondig, en ons verwelkom dit. Ons moet kyk na kollektiewe amnestie om die uitstaande gevalle af te handel. Daar is nie ‘n ander manier nie. Hoe verkondig die VF versoening vir die volgende 10 jaar, terwyl selektiewe hofsake net van die een kant af deurlopend plaasvind? Ek aanvaar die ANC-leiers wat nie amnestie gekry het nie, sal natuurlik nie vervolg word nie. Siviele eise teen hulle is wel moontlik. Sluit dit ook amnestie in vir Suid-Afrikaners wat in Zimbabwiese tronke sit? Dit is die klein mannetjies wat net die bevele gehoorsaam het. Die groot manne is weg en hulle betaal die prys. Daarom is die VF teleurgesteld dat ons die geleentheid mis om oor algemene amnestie of spesifieke amnestie te praat. Die probleem gaan nie op hierdie manier weggaan nie. As leiers moet ons saam hierdie boodskap na buite stuur aan ons mense om polarisasie te voorkom. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The question is: How do we conclude this chapter of our history? By shouting Kill the Boer'' orKill the Blacks’’? That is not going to help us. As an Afrikaner I am prepared to stand here and continually talk to my people about reconciliation and co-operation, and I expect the same from other leaders.

The victims of the struggle, from both sides, should receive compensation as announced as quickly as possible, and we welcome this. We should look at collective amnesty to deal with the outstanding cases. There is no other way. How does the FF advocate reconciliation for the next 10 years while selective court cases are taking place continually on one side only? I accept that the ANC leaders who did not receive amnesty will probably not be prosecuted. However, civil cases against them are possible. Does this also include amnesty for South Africans who are sitting in Zimbabwean prisons? These are the small guys who merely obeyed the orders. The big guys have gone and now they are paying the price.

For this reason the FF is disappointed that we are missing the opportunity to talk about general amnesty or specific amnesty. The problem is not going to go away in this manner. As leaders we should collectively send this message out there to our people to prevent polarisation. I thank you.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson and hon members, we in the UCDP welcome the final TRC report as an authentic document of record. The authenticity of the report cannot be rebutted.

We thank the commission members for a job well done. They sat hours on end at various venues, sometimes in inclement weather listening to people relating their sad stories, some fabricated and others factual. We prayed much for their strength.

Contrary to what was said in the media by some people, the TRC has not made any findings of gross violations of human rights as perpetrated by the leader of my party, Kgosi L M Mangope, or the security forces of his government. This truth leaves egg on the faces of those self-appointed political upstarts who have been going around saying that his government was guilty of misdeeds.

May we repeat that the truth in the report has vindicated the leaders of my party. They have clean hands. In fact, the amnesty committee ordered some people, among them the former ANC North West MEC, Malebana Metsing, to apologise to Kgosi Mangope and others. That is the truth.

We have always said that the truth shall prevail. The commission has established that most parties from the ANC, PAC, Azapo, IFP and the former South African government have accounts to make with respect to their misdeeds. However, the truth is that some people have up till now not been accounted for; let alone those who died at the hands of their comrades in exile and the SA Security Forces, as a result of the instant jungle justice. [Interjections.]

The reparation fund to be established is most welcome, and we have noted the commitment of Government to start contributing to the fund. The UCDP, however, feels that people and business are being overtaxed already and we are not in favour of a so-called wealth tax.

By way of ongoing attempts to make South Africans accept one another, the programme of action towards a society free of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance has to be mounted as recommended and this has to be done sooner rather than later.

We maintain that up till now access to centres of higher learning was open to all in this country. There is no need for any special arrangements for entry into tertiary institutions in respect of those whose secondary and tertiary education was interrupted by the struggle.

It is unfortunate that some of our compatriots have gone unsaid, unsung and unwept. We strongly support the putting up of a task team to deal with disappearances and exhumations. We note what the President said in this regard insofar as the National Directorate of Prosecutions has to be contacted.

Affected movements of the day should show appreciation of this gesture and reciprocate by declaring the whereabouts of the other people. We should continue to cleanse our hearts in order to be reconciled as a nation.

We support the view that the President may exercise his presidential discretion in the process of pardoning perpetrators, but plead that he should be circumspect so as not to hurt the rights of victims by making blanket amnesties.

Finally, Madam Chair, we believe that a leader who ascends to office takes the office with assets and liabilities. A leader, like a father, will remain a father for better or worse. It is for this reason that we support the view that the President of the Republic of South Africa apologises to all victims on behalf of those members of the security forces of the former state and those forces of the liberation movements who committed gross violations of human rights. [Interjections.]

The word of the head of state will surely strengthen national unity which aims at reconciliation, in spite of transgressions in the past. [Interjections.] The interim Constitution of 1993 summed it up well, when it read, Premier Shilowa:

There is a need for understanding, not vengeance; a need for reparation but not retaliation. There is a need for ubuntu but not for victimisation.

We have to live in love, respect, trust, hope and tolerance for one another. [Applause.]

Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Chair, Mr President, my time is limited. The TRC has done some good things. It has discovered hidden things such as who killed Griffith Mxenge and his wife, Victoria; Dr Fabian Ribeiro and his wife Florence; Steve Biko and others. It also discovered secret graves of massacred victims of apartheid.

But as warned by the PAC, this commission has achieved nothing fundamental for the victims and survivors of apartheid colonialism. From the beginning, the TRC was a gigantic exercise to appease the forces of oppression, national dispossession and injustice. Through the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid the UN declared apartheid a crime against humanity. This convention was as the result of resolution 3068 adopted by 91 members of the UN and opposed by only Britain, America, Portugal and South Africa. That was the old South Africa.

As a crime against humanity apartheid is on par with genocide and war crimes. Perpetrators of crimes against humanity cannot even plead superior orders. They did know at the Nuremberg International Tribunal. Indeed, Hitler’s successor, Donitz, could not escape responsibility for crimes against humanity on the plea of being obedient to superior orders. He was imprisoned.

In South Africa the authors of the TRC report, by their actions, have shown that to them a crime against humanity does not apply to Africans. That is why the TRC paraded before itself members of the liberation movement such as the PAC and its military wing Apla, as well as those of the ANC and MK. That the PAC, ANC and others took up arms to defend the African people against genocide and the crime of apartheid was ignored even by those who once called apartheid a theological heresy. Apartheid was practised right at the so-called TRC. For example, Magnus Malan was granted bail of R10000 while PAC Lethlapa Mphahlele was granted R35 000 bail. The court expenses of apartheid perpetrators were paid by the state, while freedom fighters from especially the PAC had to pay their own cost. Over R5 million was paid for Eugene de Kock alone. The TRC never queried this.

Many members of Apla were refused amnesty and subjected to brutally long prison sentences. Thapelo Maseko for 55 years, Bhani Mangaliseki 58 years, Shakespeare Buthelezi 64 years; Simelele Ngesi 16 years; Mdudeki Ntantiso 74 years and six months; Phila Dolo a life prison sentence plus 54 years; Kenny Motsomai two life prison sentences plus 19 years; Sipho Mbeki two life sentences plus 20 years; Phakamile Cishe three death sentences plus 21 years; Kwanele Msize three death sentences plus 24 years.

The TRC has been neither a truth nor a reconciliation commission. There can be no truth and reconciliation without justice. There should indeed have been a reparations commission for the victims of crimes against humanity in South Africa, just as there was in the case of the Jews, Japanese and Koreans after the Second World War. I thank you. [Time expired.]

Ms M P THEMBA: The President of the Republic of South Africa, the Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen.

Make Sihlalo, ngabe ngenta liphutsa ngingaphawuli lutfo ngalenkhulumo lebuhlungu nalevisa buhlungu lebekwe ngubabe Mncwango, kutsi atente umuntfu lohlobile. Ulingisa umntfwana lomncane lowatfolakala anashukela esihlatsini, watsi nakabutwa kutsi kuyini loku lokusesihlatsini; watsi, angikenti lutfo. Angikamudli shukela. [Luhleko.] [Tandla.]

Liciniso kutsi sive siyavuma kutsi senta emaphutsa, nyalo sesikhatsi sekubuyisana. Uma sitawuyengana ngeke siye ekucolelaneni ngobe kusho kutsi kukhona lesisakufihlile. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.) [Madam Chairperson, I would be making a mistake if I did not make some remarks on the painful and wound-pricking speech that has been made by hon Mncwango, who pretended to be pure and clean. He behaved like a small child who was found with sugar on his cheek. When he was asked what was on his cheek, he said, I have done nothing. I did not eat sugar. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

The truth is that the nation admits that it did make some mistakes, and now it’s time for reconciliation. If we keep on deceiving one another, we are not going to achieve our goal of forgiveness because it would be clear that we are still hiding some things.]

The international community has been highly impressed by the TRC, and its example has been followed, with local variations, in post-struggle situations in several countries, for example, East Timor. It has effectively become a model which can be adapted for purposes of reconciliation and reconstruction in other countries.

It is important to highlight the transparency of the TRC procedures, its public nature and the media coverage through which it has reached all South Africans. It must also be commended for the open invitation to all survivors to submit statements.

This stands in contrast with, for example, the truth commission in Chile in the early 1990s, which was conducted behind closed doors and from the start it was restricted to only certain cases of gross human rights violations, like disappearances and the tracing of missing persons. The truth commission in Chile did not investigate detentions or torture and as a consequence still suffer a lack of credibility, resulting in continued denial of the truth on one side, and ongoing demands for justice on the other, thus, prolonging the polarisation of society.

In recent TRCs in other countries this transparency has not always been a feature, which may cast doubts on their potential for reconciliation. Moreover, the maturity and moral strength of the disenfranchised South Africans should be underlined. For it is these qualities that made the TRC possible and successful. While the primary source of this maturity can very legitimately be traced to African culture and values, the political analysis, particularly, the explicit definition of the enemy being the system and not the whites, has been of crucial importance in entrenching those values over the years and preparing the disenfranchised for turning its back on revenge and hatred in favour of reconciliation and nonracialism. This, together with the transparency, is a shining example for the whole world. Today, it stands in very stark contrast with the current discourse of Bush and partners.

The TRC has eloquently demonstrated Africa’s exceptional capacity for moral strength, tolerance, reconciliation and peace. The TRC has also set a model for nonracialism at home and in the world.

While it may not be possible to compensate each victim of apartheid, the new Government has spearheaded the reconstruction and development programmes. These are aimed at restoring the dignity of our people who were oppressed.

Reconciliation cannot take place in a vacuum. It has to occur in tandem with qualitative changes in the lives of our people. This implies that positive steps have to be taken to push back the frontiers of poverty and improve the living conditions of the poor people.

In this light, the new Government has instituted the capital gains tax in order that all sources of income are taxed. It increased direct support to poor households, especially to children. By 2006, more than 6,5 million children will be beneficiaries of this grant. The extension of the social security net is one of the post-apartheid government’s greatest successes. Social security reached 2,5 million people in April 1997. As at March 2003, there are 5,6 million people who benefit from the social security grant. It increased its spending on health to ensure that hospitals and clinics have sufficient medicines and drugs. In addition, two large hospitals have been built, namely the Nkosi Albert Luthuli hospital near Durban and the Nelson Mandela Hospital in Umtata. More people receive primary health care than before.

More children has received basic education during the term of the ANC Government. A total of 1,5 million hectares of land has been redistributed to its original owners; the list goes on. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, would you please allow the member to be heard.

Ms M P THEMBA: Madam Chairperson, it must be borne in mind that reconciliation is not a one-time gesture but a process, made possible and initiated by the TRC, which might be reversed if it is not followed by an ongoing willingness for moral and material reparations by the perpetrators and all beneficiaries of apartheid in South Africa.

In other words, by means of the TRC, the South African disenfranchised have set a model by taking the first steps towards reconciliation but as yet not the whole nation. All citizens who have benefited from apartheid have a special responsibility in ensuring that they make some contribution towards reconciliation and reparations. This can occur in a myriad of ways, for example, by assisting the dispossessed through empowerment initiatives or by contributing financially through the promotion of equity and skills development initiatives.

Many people, especially those who have not experienced the horrors of apartheid repression, have argued that we must draw a veil over the horrors of the past. Those who argue that we must forget the past do so because of cowardice and a refusal to accept responsibility. As the ANC we have consistently rejected these attempts to downplay the horrendous injustices suffered by our people. Our rejection of these arguments is based on the understanding that real reconciliation involves our capacity to face the past and accept its reality because our past is painful.

We cannot speak of reconciliation without remembering historical wrongs. Preparedness to confront and redress the mistakes of the past involves an acknowledgement that gross human rights violations did take place. Although we might be tempted to forget painful memories and act as if these traumatic events never happened, it is dangerous to try and blot out painful and humiliating memories. Repressed memories remain alive and can give rise to severe neurosis. It is better to accept a painful past than to deny or repress it.

Nor can we speak of real reconciliation without an acceptance that people need to be compensated for the violations of their human rights. Reparation is an internationally accepted principle that provides for people to be compensated for human rights violations.

How can some people argue that these policies that we put in place are adequate compensation when they keep quiet when the previously advantaged owners refuse to make land available for redistribution; when previously advantaged white schools refuse to accept black pupils; and when previously advantaged people use the courts to fight affirmative actions, like the Telkom share-offer to previously disadvantaged individuals? Why do we need to remember the past?

History is not the residue of life but the framework for our own identity as a nation. Remembering the past helps to sustain us by giving meaning to our existence as a nation. We should, therefore, nurture our children’s appetite to learn what happened in our past, what history has to teach, a recovery of that which should not be forgotten.

If we do not do this we face the danger that oppression and brutality will be forgotten, that the injustices committed in the name of race might slip away from human consciousness. There is an old saying to the effect that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. We need to remember the past not to relive it, but to make sure it does not repeat itself. Failure to keep the past alive is the enemy of reconciliation because it refuses survivors the public acknowledgement of their pain. It invites offenders to take the path of denial. It deprives future generations of the opportunity to understand and learn from the past and to participate in the building of a lasting reconciliation.

A lack of commitment could lead to a reassessment of the TRC in a negative sense, to a hardening of attitudes and, ultimately to the reversal of the process of reconciliation.

From the above remarks, it will be clear that a successful reconciliation process is a condition for successful nation-building in as far as the division between beneficiaries and survivors of apartheid goes. Nation- building covers, of course, many more areas of diversity and division. [Time expired.]

Ms C-S BOTHA: Thank you, hon Chair. During the time of the TRC hearings, my son wrote the following words: Fear not death nor suffering, nor evil, but guard at the door. Guard against indifference.

I believe that he was right. This debate today already bears testimony to a fundamental shift beyond indifference. In the 1999 TRC debate, then Deputy President Mbeki, set the defining parameters in our continuing struggle for national unity and reconciliation, as a question of race. Today we have moved on and we have identified reparations as a crucial element of this process on the way to closure. We are grateful that the President has committed the Government here to monetary payment of reparation, as the TRC created a legitimate expectation of legally enforceable rights to the specific victims of gross human rights abuses.

Judge Didcott held that the state is fully responsible for reparations, as it was responsible for amnesty. Similar sentiments are expressed by the protocol of the African Court on Human Rights and the Matsoenyane report.

So, while we are thankful for the R30 000, Mr President, we believe that it should have been more. What is equally important, shall I quantify what was suggested in the TRC report? What is equally important is that the new undertakings do not befall the fate of previous arrangements. Ask the Khulumane Victim Support Group, Madam Premier of the Free State, about nonfulfilment of raised expectations.

Then I must also say that I find it callous to dismiss genuine need by saying that you cannot attach monetary value to suffering. There is no member of this House who lives off cold charity. Indeed, we believe it is incumbent on the Government to match reparations to real needs. Precedents for individual monetary compensation amply exist in comparative and customary law on reparation. This was also de facto attested to by the South African Government when it paid pensions to former members of resistance organisations. Nor do I think that the merits of the symbolic gesture, whatever it may be, with its shift from the individual to the societal - a sculptured stone for Bobby Yahr or a statue at Freedom Park - can make up for the painful gaps that this offer leaves, but the caravan moves on.

The biggest challenge now is to ensure implementation, which rests with the President’s Fund. It is untenable that victims could have returned from the President’s Fund empty-handed, as the report states. It is unbearable that this can happen while many perpetrators have prospered. The old refrain I do not know what really happened'', could easily become I do not care what really happened’’.

We urge the President to place the implementation structures under vigorous scrutiny so that the R30 000 once-off payment he has promised does not render victims humiliated as they legitimately try to access it. I take the liberty of suggesting that disbursements from the proposed reparation fund be moved to nongovernmental agencies so that it does not follow the ignominious example of undisbursed funds in the Umsobomvo and the Lotto Funds. [Interjections.] In his foreword … [Interjections.] The DA will take charge of it for you. In his foreword to these last reports, Archbishop Desmond Tutu portrays our TRC as a kind of benchmark against which the rest are measured. By implication, the decisions taken here will reverberate in far foreign corners. They will certainly impact on economic growth, our domestic and foreign fixed investment. Those are the most effective tools we have to count the inequalities apart. And I am indeed very glad of the wisdom that did not place these at risk here. If I interpret your earlier statements correctly, Mr President, this ghost can now be laid to rest.

Then, finally, Madam Speaker, Mr President, it would be wrong to imply that ordinary South Africans are indifferent to the plight of their neighbours. Many are contributing in numerous and substantial ways to the process of redressing inequality. And, as their sense of legitimately belonging to a new South Africa grows, so too will their acceptance of individual responsibility with regard to the reconciliation process. I am confident this is true of all DA members. I certainly wish to be counted among those who take up this challenge. Thank you.

Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE: Chairperson, I want to begin my contribution to the debate by paying tribute to the liberation movements, the gallant fighters who belonged to the armed formations of the liberation movements, and all the men and women who were not members of these formations, but who nevertheless gave up their lives to free black people from the yoke of oppression and dehumanisation.

The TRC has now concluded its task, a task borne out of compromises at the negotiation table. The Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, which gave rise to the existence of the commission, became a subject of debate within various sectors of our society, Azapo included.

It is now common knowledge that the Azanian Peoples’ Organisation, Nontsikelelo Biko, Churchill Mxenge and Chris Rebeiro took the matter to the Constitutional Court. At the Constitutional Court the parties placed the following before the judges: that apartheid was declared a crime against humanity and as a consequence all criminal acts committed in pursuit of the apartheid system should be punishable by law; that victims of gross human rights violations should not be deprived of their constitutional right to settle disputes through the courts; that freedom fighters in particular and persons who fought against an evil and oppressive system of apartheid cannot be treated in the same way as defenders of the evil system; that it is unfair to victims to grant amnesty to perpetrators of gross human rights violations and say that such offenders should not be held civilly liable for damage sustained by the victims.

Chairperson, it is now history that Judge Mahomed, DP, only dealt with the constitutionality of this matter and today we are dealing with the political and other related matters of reconciliation. Interestingly, the judge, that is Judge Mahomed, had this to say about the Azapo concern, and I quote:

I understand perfectly why the applicants want to insist that those wrongdoers who abused their authority and wrongfully murdered, maimed or tortured members of their families who had, in their view, been engaged in a noble struggle to confront the inhumanity of the apartheid regime, should be vigorously prosecuted and effectively punished for their callous and inhumane conduct in violation of criminal law.

The judge goes on to state that:

Every decent human being must feel grave discomfort in living with a consequence which might allow perpetrators of evil acts to walk the streets of this land with impunity.

The announcement made by the President concerning prosecution for those who did not appear before the Truth Commission to divulge their acts of inhumanities, is very satisfying indeed for Azapo, possibly for Judge Mahomed as well.

Chairperson, perpetrators have been granted amnesty. What we must now ask is: What about the victims? This is the question that confronts us in this House. This is the time when questions of justice through reparation should come into being. Judge Didcott, in his minority report, had this to say, and I quote:

Reparations are usually payable by states, and there is no reason to doubt that the postscript envisages our state to shoulder the national responsibility for those.

This view coincides with the majority view of the judges that held that Parliament was entitled to adopt a wide concept of reparation. It is this part of the judgment that Azapo calls upon Parliament to adopt.

If Parliament agrees with Azapo, we see reparation as a process that must deal with all aspects of the oppressed life. In Azapo’s terms, the monetary aspect of reparations should be seen as but a part of an overall strategy to restore human dignity and a decent life to all those who suffered under apartheid.

Businesses that operated during apartheid and benefited from cheap labour must know that millions of workers, and not only South African workers, but including those from the neighbouring states, contributed billions of rands to their wealth in the form of what is referred to by Azapo as unpaid wages. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Order! Hon members the following member that I am going to call is going to make a maiden speech. [Applause.]

Ms M P MENTOR: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Comrade President, Comrade Deputy President, hon Premiers, hon members, distinguished guests and comrades, I do not know what a maiden speech is, but I will ask at the end of my debate. [Laughter.]

I will start from the beginning to salute the memory of the late Comrade Patrick Moseli Mmoloa who was the last president of the ANC Youth League before the ANC was banned. He died in combat in the Wankies Polilo Campaign in 1968, lest we forget.

I also wish to take this solemn moment to salute the memory of Comrade Peter Mokaba. Those who were enemies of peace in the time of our struggle chose to make him not popular, but unpopular with the slogan kill the boer, kill the farmer''. Those of us who shared the battle trenches with him know that he rallied the youth of this country around the slogan fight and produce land’’ not kill the farmers, kill the boers''. Not only that slogan: The one that he more often than not rallied them around wasfight profusely’’.

I also salute the memory of Comrade Parks Mankahlana. I specially remember him for imbuing on the youth of our country the need to always analyse the world around you, to deconstruct it and to reconstruct it if necessary. I should have paid tribute to Comrade Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu before I did so to Comrade Peter Mokaba and Comrade Parks Mankahlana. I deliberately paid respects and tribute to him and saluted his memory last because I will return to the topic pertaining to him later in my speech.

The TRC process as it was alluded to by speakers before me was just one process amongst many that was intended to lay a foundation for reconciliation, peace and change for this country. It was also meant to enhance the process of restoring the dignity of our people, those that were oppressed and those that were not oppressed.

As South Africans we had hoped to extract out of the TRC process reparation which entailed what became known as the Five Rs, namely, redress, restitution, rehabilitation, restoration of dignity, and reassurance of nonrecurrence. If anyone considers the extent of damage, humiliation, denigration and untold miseries that were unleashed upon millions of South Africans by apartheid, the argument still stands that no amount of money will be able to pay for that damage. There is no amount of money that can buy or pay for the human dignity lost. I therefore submit before this House upfront that the highest possible reparation price that we can pay to South Africans, those who are no more and those who are still alive, is a process of ensuring that South Africa becomes truly democratic, nonracial, nonsexist, prosperous, and united. [Applause.]

We owe it to ourselves as a form of reparation and compensation to make sure that we deliver good governance. That is the price we must pay. That should be our reparation and compensation.

The community of Galeshewe where I come from understands and accepts this argument. Hence they celebrate the fact that because of a Cabinet decision, Galeshewe has become a nodal point for urban reconstruction and development. [Applause.]

This is besides the fact that the SANDF once killed youths in Thabane High School during school hours point blank because they wanted to change that school into a temporary military base during the state of emergency. For a number of reasons they refused the community of Galeshewe for a number of days access to the corpses of their youth and children, and to clean the brains and blood that was scattered all over the classrooms. The highest price we received and are happy for is the RDP. [Applause.]

Ma de Bruin of Upington, who was the only woman amongst the Upington 26, was on death row because of a common purpose and was allegedly found guilty on the basis of a common purpose for killing a policeman in Upington. She went to testify before the TRC.

She is still waiting and standing in a queue like any other South African today for her RDP house. She says that it is not necessary for her to be paid money. She argues that she is happy to see Pabalelo becoming a better place to live in. The only thing she says is that she has struggled since receiving stay of execution to educate her four children who have all matriculated and are still waiting for the opportunity of getting employment. She is confident that eventually they will get employment. [Applause.]

The Khoi and the San people in the Northern Cape who live in Schmidsdrift and in Platfontein just outside Kimberly understand and accept that no amount of money will repay them for the dignity they were stripped of as a community by apartheid. They are happy to be resettled to become a community amongst South African communities. [Applause.]

With regard to the TRC and education, we have a very unfortunate situation. I suspect that there were no young members when the Act that constituted the TRC was put in place or the brief for the TRC was put there because I do not understand how it became possible that education was not a particular reference point.

There were six main reference points given to the TRC. It was media, business, the religious community, prisons, health and the legal system. How we omitted education I do not know, but that is water under the bridge because correctly so education became an arena of the struggle because it was a vehicle for sustaining that heinous crime against humanity.

Young people swopped classrooms and lecture halls for battle trenches. They even converted classrooms and lecture halls into battle trenches that extended to the streets and back into the classrooms and lecture halls.

All South Africans in their millions, especially black South Africans, including white South Africans, were given gutter education whose main aim was to make other people subservient, therefore servants, and others masters and therefore superior. According to me there is no amount of money that will be able to correct or to repair for the damage caused by apartheid education.

I want to make a passionate plea to this House. Luckily the President is here as well as members of the Cabinet and the Premiers. The young people of this country who fought against gutter education, who understood that education had to be a necessary part of the struggle, had harboured a wish since the inception of Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College, Somafco, to see it come home. Some of them are no more.

It can come back as much as the argument holds that we must go and exhume the bones and the remains of our comrades all over the world. I think the argument can be sustained that we need to bring Somafco home. When we bring it home we must make it an institute of national excellence. It should exist alongside an in coexistence with the Freedom Park to preserve our history. [Applause.]

I am sure that everybody saw in the media in the past few days what the Iraqis are doing to themselves. It is painful. We do not want our people ever to do that to themselves, never mind what will happen to us.

Artifacts dating back 5 000 years or so were broken in anger. I still argue that it is in anger against, not Saddam Hussein, but the invasion of the Americansÿ … [Interjections.] [Applause.] … on Arab soil if you care to say.

That institute must be a beacon of hope, when we bring it home for our people, and a source of bread. It must have satellite institutions in all provinces. It must be a centre for research, reconstruction and development. It must assess on our behalf, independently so, whether we are delivering or not. It must make recommendations to Government at local, provincial and national levels. It should be a centre from which our communities will derive lessons and skills of conflict prevention and conflict resolution. It will be a centre for peace and war studies so that we must not forget and that we must not be complacent.

It will be a protector for our communities against unscrupulous, merciless and unethical researchers who use our communities as guinea pigs, never to return to them or to acknowledge them, not even their theses, books, and whatever, and never paying any royalties to them. It will be a defender for our communities, indigenous knowledge and for intellectual property rights for our communities. It will patent those rights where a need arises … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Order! Your speaking time has expired hon member. [Applause.]

Ms M P MENTOR: Deputy Chair, I was told that when you are making a maiden speech you can exceed by two minutes. [Laughter.] [Applause.] We will learn from that institute … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES (Mr M J Mahlangu): Order! Your speaking time has expired hon member. [Laughter.] [Applause.] Order hon members. Order! Hon Millin, I have not called you yet, you can take your seat. Hon Mentor can you take your seat please. You have taken a very good chance. I have heard that and I did use my discretion. [Laughter.]

Just to answer your question. A maiden speech is normally a term used to describe a member’s first address to the House. I say this because you wanted to know. It is normally parliamentary procedure. Members who make their first speech in Parliament do not raise contentions issues. [Laughter.] [Applause.] However, they should be listened to very carefully by the members without any interruption and I am happy that the members have done so. [Applause.]

I am also advised that the member at the podium is going to give her maiden speech. [Applause.]

Ms T E MILLIN: Deputy Chairperson and hon members, it is indeed a privilege to participate, albeit in a small way, in this landmark debate today. May I start by quoting a few words from Proverbs 7:20:

There is not a righteous man or woman on earth who does what is right and never sins.

For this fundamental reason it is not unreasonable that there are those who have serious reservations about the so-called truth commissions or omissions which inevitably are perceived by segments of society as a distortion, even a manipulation, of history from the perspective of one or other political viewpoint. It is for this reason and fact that I share some of the reservations of the IFP with regard to the process of the TRC.

We are all, each one of us, products of our respective histories and tend to react or respond as a consequence of that immutable fact … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Order! Hon members can you please give the member time to present her speech. We are conversing rather too loud. Continue hon member.

Ms T E MILLIN: Thank you Chairperson. And much as society may feel the need to blame others for past wrongs it is imperative that we all accept that not one of us in the history of humankind is without sin, for all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, to quote Romans 3. However, it is indeed nothing short of a miracle that nearly nine years on since the new political dispensation, and given the diversity of our backgrounds, culturally, traditionally and politically, that we have, as a rainbow nation - and I use that term intentionally - nevertheless come together as one in a general spirit of cooperative governance. I want to echo the words of our hon President who stated here today that never again should one group or community oppress another in our nation.

He added that no revenge or retribution as a result of our collective past history has any place in our present or future. These are commendable sentiments which, together with the overall tone of the hon the President’s speech before this Joint Sitting of the NA, will hopefully promote the worthy cause of ongoing reconciliation of all the people of our beloved country.

Therefore, as a believing Christian, I conclude by stating that the Government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive. On every hand were crying abuses, extortion, intolerance and grinding cruelty. Yet Jesus attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses nor condemn the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power.

He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments, not because he was indifferent to the ways of human kind, but because the remedy did not lie in mere human or external measures.

To be efficient, the cure must reach people individually and must regenerate the heart not by the decisions of courts or councils, commissions or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly and great men or women, but by the power of our Almighty Creator.

Here is the power that can bring about the upliftment of all mankind and the human agency for the accomplishment of this work, namely the nature of sin, repentance, reconciliation and restoration are the teachings and practising of the Word of God. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Ms M SMUTS: Chairperson, like the hon Dr Pheko, the final report reminds us that it has been the consistent complaint against the TRC by the liberation movements that they were treated on a basis of moral and legal equivalence with the former state. But the law which created the TRC required such equal treatment, as the TRC reminds its readers. Of course this is because nobody won any war. Neither violent repression nor violent revolt succeeded. The decision that there would be amnesty was part of a constitutionalised negotiated settlement. And that selfsame Constitution requires equality before the law.

Has the TRC in fact succeeded in being even-handed? The independent Amnesty Committee, the judges, scrupulously observed the law, and therefore no question of fairness can legitimately arise. Their report is a pleasure to read, and I think that we all owe our thanks to the judges and to Advocate Martin Coetzee, who lately acted as CEO. But Sir, did the broader TRC investigate violations by all sides equally? In a word, their words, no. Having decided that the state and IFP undoubtedly perpetrated most incidents, they set about devoting ``most resources’’ to investigating those bodies.

Now the question of whether the commission in fact fulfilled its mandate could have been left to the court of history and of public opinion, except that it has got itself and South Africa into a mess with its support for international reparations claims. The commission acknowledged early in its life that the gross violations of human rights, as defined in the Act, that it was supposed to investigate are really the bodily integrity rights. It was supposed to enquire into killing, torture, abductions and severe ill- treatment.

However, it decided that it would make a distinction between those defending apartheid and those fighting it, because of the commissioners’ ``deep awareness of systemic discrimination, which made it very difficult to concentrate only on killing, torture, and so forth’’. In the international community, apartheid, as a form of systematic racial discrimination, constituted a crime against humanity. And so the commission made itself the last word on discrimination and all of apartheid - a position which now gives its outrageous reparation suit proposals international credence, and threatens our economy and precisely the unemployed, previously discriminated against poor.

The commission is very fond of telling other people, even the hon the President, to apologise. I would suggest, very respectfully, especially those commissioners making careers in the US should apologise on this issue. Having signed up on apartheid as a crime against humanity, the commission endorsed the liberation movements’ claim of a just war without further ado. However, the qualifications of the laws of war fortunately also applied. Just war does not legitimate unjust means like the killing of civilians.

The findings on the AWB and APLA are damning. The PAC position, Dr Pheko, that whites were beneficiaries of the system, therefore every white person was part of the defence lines of apartheid and every white home a garrison, is found by the TRC to be absurd. The Amnesty Committee documents a media briefing by APLA commander Letlapa Mphahlele, to whom hon Pheko referred, on 28 October 1997 in Bloemfontein, in which he said, ``his proudest moment was seeing whites dying in the killing fields’’, and accused the Amnesty Committee of being a farce and a sham which sought to perpetuate white supremacy.

I wish to place on record that Mr Mphahlele confirmed during a radio debate with me on Cape Talk, 19 November 2002, that he ordered the Heidelberg Tavern and St James Church massacres. Yes, I do so, because it remains our view that Mr Mphahlele must be prosecuted. It remains the position of the TRC that prosecution should be considered where evidence of gross human rights violations exist. The spiritual leaders at St James told me last year that the forgiveness they could express as Christians toward the cadres who did receive amnesty, is something separate from the state.

People, in their view, received their opportunity for grace, and if they turned it down, they must face the wrath of the law. If I understand the President’s proposal to be an invitation to people with locus and with information to turn state witnesses - that is how I understand it - then I will say that the normal course of the law seems to be followed. Apart from some risk of one-sidedness, that is the right way. The proposal is suggesting that the law follows its normal course, and that is precisely the position to which South Africa should return in order to restore the rule of law. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D A HANEKOM: Chairperson, President, Deputy President, Premiers, Ministers, hon members, it’s difficult to talk so late in the debate when so much has been said and not to repeat a lot of what has been said. The President has left the House I’m afraid, because I wanted to share something with him. I have some of the passages in my speech which he used in his speech. The problem is I wanted to say these things first, but he got in before me. [Laughter.] Well, I’ll live with that.

Chairperson, this debate on the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission report clearly cannot confine itself only to the recommendations in the report, nor can it limit itself to the report itself. It is another important moment of memory and reflection; another opportunity for us to move a few more steps forward towards reconciliation and nation-building in our country.

We are dealing with extremely delicate and emotional matters that bring to the surface our collective sorrow and joy, our pride and our shame and of course, sometimes anger and resentment that has not yet been put behind us.

What happened in South Africa during the ugly period of apartheid rule, happened. There is no undoing it or wishing it away. The effects of that reality present us with another reality: the painful legacy of poverty and inequality. That we also cannot simply wish away. But both these realities of what happened before and what is with us today can be dealt with and must be dealt with together as a single package.

The way we deal with the past must carry us into the future; a future that offers something better for everyone. That was the approach of the ANC long before the first elections in 1994. It was also never the intention to place the entire burden of dealing with the past and achieving the goals of reconciliation and nation-building on the shoulders of the TRC alone. The Government has consistently recognised the need to deal with the horrors of the past, as well as the legacy we inherited, in a comprehensive and integrated manner.

In fact, the process of healing the wounds, rebuilding our country, restoring dignity to our citizens and even direct compensation and restitution began the day this democratically elected Government came into office - before the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act was passed in 1995 and before the commission was appointed.

The Restitution of Land Rights Act was passed by this Parliament in 1994. It was all about bringing justice to those who had been forcibly removed from their land, and in so doing restoring dignity and achieving reconciliation in our country. There is no doubt that the restoration of land rights constitutes reparation - ‘‘making amends for a wrong’’ as it is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, or ‘‘the action of repairing something’’. Of course there is much more that this Government has done to restore dignity, to bring social justice to our people and to rebuild our country and repair the damage done by centuries of racism, sexism and oppression.

In saying these things I do not in any way wish to diminish the immensely important role played by the TRC in healing the wounds of our painful past and in promoting reconciliation and national unity. The way the process was initiated, the fact that for the first time ever there was a truth commission appointed by an Act of Parliament, the people chosen to serve on the commission, the most unusual bishop who was heading it, and the way it conducted its work started the healing process and reconciliation long before the finalisation of the report and long before the implementation of some of the recommendations began. But it is important to see the work of the commission and its recommendations in the right context.

Our country has produced many great and colourful figures. Archbishop Desmond Tutu surely ranks amongst the best and most colourful of them all. We should not underestimate his personal role in healing the wounds, in promoting values of compassion and forgiveness and creating an atmosphere in which people were able to hear the truth and tell the truth. Not all of us show emotions the way he does, but when he cried with the victims and the perpetrators, the whole nation cried with him. And when laughter was born out of his tears, we laughed with him, and somehow we knew that marvellous things were happening in our country, and that we had made the right choices, and we were on the right road.

Indeed Chairperson, we are on the right road. It is often a bumpy road and we still have a long way to travel, but we are on the right road. It is the road towards the fulfilment of a dream: a future where poverty is a thing of the past; a country where there is equality between people of different races and between men and women; a country where everyone can read and write, where people feel secure; and a country that we all feel proud of.

In the ANC we have always understood that genuine reconciliation cannot be achieved without social justice. We made the choice that reparations will be paid to the victims of human rights violations who brought their cases to the commission. And this must be done in the same way as those who lost their land and who lodged claims with the Restitution Commission got their land back or received compensation. But the exercise of reparation we are engaged in goes far beyond redress to immediate victims. Quite simply, what is called for is a massive reconstruction and development programme. It needs to reach as many people as possible and it needs to be sustained.

This has been central to all Government policies and programmes since 1994. It has made a huge difference in many people’s lives. And although many people still do not have water, or still live in inadequate housing, and although many are still trapped in poverty, there is no doubt that there has been positive change in this country that every citizen benefits from. Statistics are good at recording how many houses have been built, but not so good - as you said, Premier of Limpopo - at capturing the restoration of dignity and the enjoyment of freedoms and rights.

A farm worker may be doing the same job as before, but no longer stands to be evicted from his or her home when she can no longer do her job. Her children will not be illiterate. She elects her own public representatives and this country belongs to her. That is change. That is social justice. That is reconciliation. That puts meaning to many of the clauses of the Freedom Charter, including that this country belongs to the people who live in it.

The farm owner - her employer - also has rights and freedoms; many of which, incidentally, even if she happens to be white, she did not enjoy during the apartheid era. She is an equally valued citizen of this country and this country also belongs to her. Her success as a farmer and a businessperson is our success. She is one of us.

That brings me to the economy and to one of the recommendations in the report, namely the wealth tax. As I said before, the reconstruction and development of our country, the process of repairing the damage caused by apartheid, needs to be comprehensive and needs to be sustained. For us to offer a better life to all our citizens and to offer opportunities to those most disadvantaged in our society, for us to be able to do that, we need money. And for that we need a healthy and growing economy.

No doubt Cabinet has started its deliberations on some of the recommendations in the report. I must say that I did write the speech before I heard what the President had to say and now we are much clearer about Cabinet’s views on the wealth tax and other such matters. But nonetheless, I was writing it with some trepidation that I might contradict the President from this podium. I will not. I will venture an opinion on a once-off tax. I don’t think it is the best way of achieving our collective goals. We fund our entire programme of reconstruction and development through tax revenue as it is. We have significantly improved our revenue collection. For as long as our economy continues to grow, it is a sustained and growing source of finance.

If the rationale for the wealth tax is that it is the best way to finance reparations, reconstruction and development, it is a questionable rationale. If the argument is that businesses benefited under apartheid and now they have to pay back, well, let’s deal with that.

Firstly, many businesspeople will tell you how constrained they were during the apartheid period, and how doors were opened to them after democracy came to our country. That is when many businesses really started flourishing.

Secondly, the make-up of many of the companies, even those who may really have benefited under apartheid, has changed. Some more than others, but most have changed and we want them to change even further. This is one of the ways to address the inherited inequalities in our economy.

Thirdly, the introduction of extraordinary taxes nine years after the apartheid era has come to an end will leave businesses wondering: What next? We need growth, we need investment, and for that we have to avoid a climate of uncertainty. The wealth tax, with all the best intentions in the world, would not help create that environment of certainty and confidence. Reparations have to be paid and reconstruction must continue, but the wealth tax is just not in my opinion the best way of financing it. That does not in any way suggest that business should not make an even greater contribution to the reconstruction effort. Yes, they have done a lot, in the funding of schools, clinics, offering learnership programmes, sponsoring sports development and much more. But the challenges remain enormous and there is much more to be done. In any event, South Africa belongs to them, as it belongs to me and to you, and they should do it because they want to do it and because the challenge is also their challenge. These are matters that will be discussed at the Growth and Development Summit, and business should be seriously applying their minds on how they can really make a difference. Because they want to. Because this is their country.

Chairperson, Mr President, to end off. An interesting piece of research might be to establish the total number of years members sitting in this House have spent in prison and in exile. Comrade President, you spent most of your adult life banished from the country of your birth. Your predecessor spent 27 years in jail. Bitterness does not feature in the way you are leading our country. Bitterness did not feature in the way Nelson Mandela led our country. We fought for freedom and we fought for human rights and it was not about reward. There are many in this House that have served prison sentences: there’s Andrew Mlangeni, 27 years; Billy Nair, 20 years; Isu Chiba, 18 years; Barbara Hogan, 10 years; Jeremy Cronin, 10 years, the Deputy President himself, 10 years, and most of the rest of his life in exile. He was very healthy in prison, incidentally. He lost his hair when he was in exile. [Laughter.] We no longer have him with us in the gallery, but we did have Father Mike Lapsley there who lost his hands while he was in exile: a bomb - a parcel bomb. He was a minister of religion, not a cadre of uMkhonto weSiswe.

The price has been paid by many people. In our gallery we are also honoured to have George Bizos up there. George Bizos failed in his task though to … [Applause.] They fought for our human rights incidentally and they fought hard. They are heroes of our struggle. Where George Bizos did fail - he tried hard to get Nelson Mandela off and to get him not to serve his prison sentence, but he failed dismally in that. [Laughter.] I believe we had Arthur Chaskalson here earlier. These were fighters for human rights. These were people who helped us draft a magnificent constitution for this country and today, Arthur Chaskalson, as we know, heads the Constitutional Court in our country.

We have much to be proud of. Mr President, we did not do that for reward. Even I served a little bit of time behind bars. Not those bars where you drink, but the prison bars. [Laughter.] Now I served so little time behind those bars that it is called a parking ticket. So, it’s a bit of an embarrassment to me. But even for that parking ticket I want some acknowledgement. All of us sitting in this room - there is Mr Masala back there, there is Ben Fihla and many others - we are human. We want acknowledgement for what we did. But we did not do it for reward and it is not a colour statement. The fact that you cannot quantify a life lost is not a colour statement. There’s no money in the world that can compensate for the life of a person lost. We did it because this is our country and because we believe that it belongs to all who live in it - all of us.

The District Six Museum up the road will be part of that acknowledgement. Freedom Park - still to be established - will be part of that recognition, and other museums and monuments are important to our country. Symbols and recognition do help in the healing process and the message in the memory is a clear one: Never again.

But Mr President, real material change in people’s lives remains our most important challenge. But this time though, we do it together - all of us. Not for reward, but simply because we want to do it; because we live here and this country belongs to us. [Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Thank you, Chairperson. Your Excellency, our President of South Africa, Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon Premiers, hon members of both Houses, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, and also recognising amidst us today the Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Municipality, hon Numsa Dube. Malibongwe!

Ladies and gentlemen, with the closure of the apartheid regime and the liberation of our people through democratic elections, we entered our new South Africa free.

The torture, the killing in 1960 of our innocent people under the apartheid pass laws, the humiliation and injustice of the apartheid regime were imbedded in the minds of the majority of South Africans. How was democracy successful with such a people?

To compensate, repair and correct those inhumane injustices a system had to be introduced. Thus the Truth and Reconciliation body was introduced. Travelling through the South African state, the TRC has been the source to many, many inhumane and horrific deeds.

South Africa has been tagged the “rainbow nation”. Its citizenry consisted of persons from all walks of life. Black, white, coloured, Asian, male and female among other divisions that were indented through legalities such as the Colour Bar Act. Noting this rich diversity and the desire to attain a democracy, it was and is crucial that this diversity be united as one nation harmoniously. To do this the South African people, especially those victims of the apartheid regime, had to learn to forgive. As said in the words of the previous hon President of South Africa, the hon Nelson R Mandela, ``we shall forgive but we shall not forget’’. Today we stand as a democracy, no matter what colour or creed.

The Minority Front thanks and supports the TRC for all its efforts and achievements. Though forgiveness and justice have been inculcated, it shall never completely heal the wounds and losses that had been suffered. Maybe it is good in the light of using such abuse as a deterrent for ever returning to such an autocratic and treacherous governmental system. By reminding ourselves of the ills of the past, we shall not carry hate in our hearts, but hope and appreciation for what we have achieved - a democracy, one people, no matter what colour or creed.

Many controversies have been noted with regard to the TRC process, but the MF feels that if criticism is not made we would not be able to declare sufficiently our successes and failures.

It has been quite a task set out for the TRC, and its final report has been eagerly awaited. It is pleasing to note the various role-players in this taxing process. Important contributions have been made from both business and civil society, depicting eager and earnest interest in the wellbeing of South Africa.

The MF is pleased with the efforts of the Justice Minister, the hon Penuell Maduna, who had embarked on efforts to incorporate the above persons into the process, and with the recommendations made in the final two reports.

The input of our citizenry is important, and the transparency of our system allows for viable contributions from various stakeholders such as business, NGOs and civil society.

Amnesty, national reconciliation, reparations and measures to be implemented to prevent a recurrence of the past, is what the MF strongly supports.

The MF supports hon Maduna in his view that our efforts should be focused on economic growth and social development, to enable ``us to meet the aspirations of all our people for access to healthcare, education, housing, social welfare and safety and security’’.

The MF further supports the reparations to be paid and suggests that a systematic framework be introduced to do so. It also agrees that a claim on business would cause panic in a number of sectors. To avoid this imbalance and disruption, systems should be put in place to accommodate the process. It would certainly hold major repercussions for us, both domestically and internationally.

The MF notes the sensitivity of the issue and that a balance is difficult to attain. However, having viewed the TRC report, it is felt that possibilities to attain our means exist, and we support all efforts whole- heartedly.

The MF supports reconciliation, nation-building and the improvement of relations between communities. I thank you, Sir.

Mr C AUCAMP: Hon Chairperson, hon President, in your speech today you made a gallant attempt to set the tone for a debate in an atmosphere of reconciliation. The National Action appreciates this approach of yours.

There was, however, Mr President, one vital missing link in your speech. You abundantly made mention of a decision by the struggle leadership to focus on reconciliation and not retaliation, of reconciliation and not revenge. In one paragraph in your speech you said three times ``we said … , we said … , we said … ‘’ and then you mentioned these things. But, Mr President, you and I know it takes two to tango.

Therefore, I must tell you that in your speech today I missed the mentioning of a devotion to peace and reconciliation from the side of the previously advantaged. Therefore, I want to pay tribute today to thousands of Afrikaner people and their leaders who did not choose the Savimbi option, but who accepted the loss of privilege and power, and embarked on a process of peace and reconciliation. Without their contribution our country could have looked like Baghdad looks today.

Agb Speaker, dit is met gemengde gevoelens dat ek die werksaamhede van die WVK vandag moet evalueer. Laat ek eerlik wees, die oorgrote meerderheid van die Afrikaners het hierdie proses ervaar as een lang beskuldiging en blaamwerping, asof voor die wêreld oopgespalk, terwyl jou derms uitgeryg word. Ons het ook die proses as baie eensydig ervaar, asof truth'' geselekteerd gesoek is, asof oor die verslag van die WVK geskryf kan word the good, the bad and the ugly’’. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Hon Speaker, it is with mixed feelings that I must evaluate the activities of the TRC today. Let me be honest, the greater majority of Afrikaners experienced this process as one long accusation and casting of blame, experienced it as if one had been spread-eagled before the world and had one’s intestines ripped out. We also experienced this process as being very one-sided, as if truth'' had been sought selectively, as if the report of the TRC could be described asthe good, the bad and the ugly’’.]

It may be easy for someone like the hon Tony Leon to praise the TRC and to say ``no further amnesty’’. It is easy to say this from an elitist distance, as the predecessors of the DA were neither part of the struggle nor of the regime. But, Mr Leon, I must remind you it’s a different case with your temporary supporters in Pretoria in die moot [in the valley] today.

On the other hand, Chairperson, with the benefit of hindsight, we could not proceed without this type of process. I acknowledge that.

Die WVK, pynlik en gebrekkig soos dit was, het tog ‘n funksie vervul as ‘n soort weerligafleier, ‘n soort katarsis. Die alternatief kon dalk veel erger gewees het. Die Nasionale Aksie aanvaar die WVK as ‘n gebrekkige maar tog noodsaaklike instrument vir sy tyd. En die klem val hier op ``vir sy tyd’’.

Meneer, die boeke moet nou toegemaak word. Die uitgerygde derms moet nou teruggepak word sodat die liggaam van Suid-Afrika normaal kan funksioneer. Daartoe moet alle Suid-Afrikaners hulle nou verbind, sonder ‘n morele leedvermaak aan die een kant of ‘n neerdrukkende skuldkompleks aan die ander kant.

Reparasie, die aandring op reparasie, het weer eens vandag sterk na vore gekom, en is gekonkretiseer in die WVK se aanbeveling van ‘n eenmalige soort van rykmansbelasting. Die NA wys egter daarop dat bykans elke wet, elke beleidstuk, elke begroting wat deur hierdie Huis goedgekeur word, ‘n vorm van reparasie is. Swart bemagtiging, regstellende aksie, spesiale projekte tot armoedeverligting, die verhoging van intreevlakke vir inkomstebelasting, die voorkeurvoorsieningsbeleid en grondhervorming is alles een groot stuk reparasie. Daarom verwelkom die NA die aankondiging van die President dat die WVK se aanbeveling van ‘n eenmalige reparasiebelasting nie aanvaar word nie. Hy verwelkom ook sy teenkanting teen die Fagin-tipe hofsake teen private maatskappye.

Oor amnestie spreek die Nasionale Aksie sy teleurstelling uit dat die President nie ‘n deeglike proses aangekondig het om in hierdie opsig die onafgehandelde werk van die WVK aan te spreek nie. Die aankondiging dat die Direkteur van Openbare Vervolgings die saak moet hanteer, is vaag en kan lei tot subjektiwiteit, en ons vra direk dadelik meer inligting daaroor. Die NA is ten gunste van ‘n verdere proses, nie van algemene amnestie nie, maar van kollektiewe amnestie, gereguleer deur deeglike wetgewing waarom ons partye en organisasies kollektief kan aansoek doen, naamlik amnestie vir persone wat oortree het in die geloof dat hulle die oogmerke van die organisasie bevorder het.

Die aankondiging van die President laat ook geen ruimte vir amnestie aan persone wat reeds skuldig bevind is en ‘n vonnis uitdien nie. Al waarna dit vir my lyk, is dat ‘n ongekontroleerde meganisme van pardon soortgelyk aan dié van artikel 84(j) aan die President nou in die hande van die Openbare Vervolger geplaas word. Groter duidelikheid is dringend noodsaaklik.

Die WVK was ‘n instrument wat ‘n bepaalde funksie in ‘n bepaalde tyd vervul het, ‘n besem wat op ‘n sekere tyd moes skoon vee. Daardie proses is nou afgehandel. Indien dit dan blyk dat die besem om sekere redes nie by al die hoekies kon uitkom nie, is dit nét verantwoordelik om ‘n deeglike meganisme daar te stel wat dit kan doen sonder om afbreuk te doen aan die WVK. Ek dink dit sal ‘n positiewe sein uitstuur van alles is nie afgehandel en in graniet gegiet by Kempton Park nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [The TRC, painful and imperfect as it was, nevertheless fulfilled a function as a kind of lightning conductor, a kind of catharsis. The alternative could have been far worse. The National Action accepts the TRC as an imperfect but nevertheless essential instrument for its time. And in this the emphasis is on “for its time”.

Sir, now the books must be closed. The ripped out intestines must be put back so that the body of South Africa can function normally. To that all South Africans must now commit themselves, without moral gloating on the one hand or an oppressive guilt complex on the other.

Reparation, the insistence on reparation, once again strongly came to the fore today and is concretised in the TRC’s recommendation of a once-off kind of rich man’s tax. The NA, however, wishes to point out that just about every Act, every policy document, every budget approved by this House is a form of reparation. Black empowerment, affirmative action, special projects for poverty relief, the increase in entry levels for taxation, the preference procurement policy land reform all comprise one large piece of reparation. For that reason the NA welcomes the announcement by the President that the TRC’s recommendation of a once-off reparation tax has not been accepted. It also welcomes its opposition to the Fagin-type court cases against private companies.

With regard to amnesty, the National Action conveys its disappointment that the President has not announced a proper process in this regard to address the incomplete work of the TRC. The announcement that the Director of Public Prosecutions should handle the matter is vague and could lead to subjectivity and we are asking directly for more information about it immediately. The NA is in favour of a further process, not of general amnesty, but of collective amnesty, regulated by thorough legislation for which our parties and organisations can apply collectively, namely amnesty for persons who transgressed in the belief that they were promoting the objectives of the organisation.

The announcement by the President does not leave any room for amnesty to persons who have already been convicted and are serving a sentence. What this looks like to me is that an uncontrolled pardoning mechanism similar to that of section 84(j) to the President is now being placed in the hands of the Public Prosecutor. Greater clarity is of the utmost urgency.

The TRC was an instrument that fulfilled a certain function at a certain time, a broom that had to sweep clean at a certain time. This process has now been completed. If it appears as if the broom could not reach all the little corners for certain reasons, then it is just responsible to introduce a thorough mechanism that can do this without detracting from the TRC. I think that this will send a positive signal that not everything was dealt with and cast in granite at Kempton Park.]

The CHAIRPERSON: Order! Hon member, your time has expired.

Mnr C AUCAMP: Ons in Suid-Afrika sal met mekaar onderhandel sonder dat dit deur ‘n tweede struggle voorafgegaan word. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Mr C AUCAMP: We in South Africa will negotiate with one another without going through a second struggle. I thank you.]

Adv J H DE LANGE: Chairperson, hon President Mbeki, hon Deputy President, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, not only am I honoured to participate in this historic debate on behalf of the ANC, but I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of comrade Dullah Omar, one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the TRC. History will record his contribution in bold type and in capital letters. [Applause.]

As we bring closure to the formal aspects of the work and existence of the TRC, it is well to remember that, although the TRC process revealed certain weaknesses, as is to be expected with any such ambitious project, it will always be regarded as one of the symbolic monuments erected to the “triumph of the human spirit over adversity”. Today I wish to remind us of what we set out to do eight long years ago by way of an abbreviated analysis of the historical context, legal origins and philosophical foundation of the TRC, both in an international and national context.

Internationally, the last two decades of the second millennium witnessed the demise of a whole range of certainties, which irrevocably altered the world order as we knew it. The East/West dichotomy, which provided a bi- polar world order, with its own unique internal dynamic allowing for a relative measure of equilibrium, has given way to a uni-polar world order, completely dominated by a rampant United States of America. This period of flux has witnessed an unprecedented period of explosive change towards democracy, as a myriad of countries have been involved in a political transition from some form of dictatorship to democracy.

These transitional processes unleash new problems and tensions in society on the one hand, while on the other they create new possibilities, opportunities and solutions, and allow for a renewing creativity.

Taking into account the differences which exist between transitional processes, national traditions, material circumstances and the freedom of political and legal options, no country or organisation has developed an approach or model which could in any way claim to be universally applicable to nations in transition when dealing with the legacy of their past, which invariably encompasses each aspect of such society. This is particularly apposite if such legacy has been associated with violations of human rights in the past, hereinafter referred to as violations.

In international jurisprudence and practice two broad, flexible, somewhat imprecisely defined and mutually exclusive models or approaches have been developed for dealing with past violations in transitional situations. I shall refer to these as the justice model, which deals with the question of prosecution and punishment, with the elements of retributive justice and criminal accountability forming its central tenets, usually within the framework of an existing criminal justice system or mechanism, and the reconciliation or truth model, with the elements of acknowledgement of truth and reconciliation forming its central tenets - of which the truth commission is the most often used mechanism in recent times.

The stark choice between these two models is what confronted us those eight long years ago, as echoed in the ominous warning of Adam Michnik at the time:

On the road out of dictatorship, each solution has its price. The road of justice - which often turns into the road of revenge and war - has bloodshed as its price. But the road through negotiations and reconciliation has its price, too. When you get up from the negotiating table you may have to defend your former enemy, now your partner, from a lynch mob. In truth, what you are defending is the principle that all citizens have the right to live in the same state.

We as South Africans found neither of these models on their own to be apposite to our transition. I am, therefore, of the opinion that South Africa may have, at least, created a new, innovative variant of either model, or, at best, created a third unique hybrid model. I refer to it as a restorative or social justice model, containing essential elements of both models, as a mechanism suited to our transition, to deal with our legacy of human rights violations.

Time constraints do not allow me to analyse the TRC in any detail. Suffice it to point out that the philosophical bedrock upon which the establishment of the TRC rests, is best captured in the pragmatic wisdom of Chilean lawyer, Pepe Zalaquett:

Many people, and especially many people in the world of the human rights movement, are disconcerted by the idea that you should also bear in mind the feasibility of your principles. In Chile, President Aylwin stated at his inauguration that he would strive for all truth and justice in so far as it was possible … and that … we have all come to realise that under changing circumstances, a less striking form of courage is called for. It is the courage to forego easy righteousness, to learn how to live with real-life restrictions, but to seek nevertheless to advance one’s most cherished values day by day, to the extent that it is possible. Relentlessly, responsibly.

I now want to look at this question within the South African context. South Africa is at present still undergoing a period of transition. The last decade has witnessed a gradual shift from an illegitimate, minority, white, dictatorship towards a more humane and democratic society. The foundation has been laid for our society, firstly, to start dealing with and rolling back the legacy of our apartheid past and, secondly, to achieve our strategic objective of developing into a truly united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous nation. This has been made possible by the deliberate policy of reconciliation, reconstruction and development adopted by the ANC, which has enabled us to narrow the space for those forces which might have had plans to subvert the transition by violent or other means. This policy forms the kernel of our social transformation project during the transition and is now a foundation principle of our Constitution.

The main content of this policy is the transformation of the political, economic, social, ideological, moral and all other aspects of the legacy of the apartheid dispensation. This is to be achieved by the building of a single South African nation which acknowledges the diversity of its people; a new and progressive patriotism; the healing of the wounds of a shameful past; the deracialisation of society; the liberation of Black people from political and economic bondage; the progressive eradication of gender inequalities and women’s oppression in particular; uplifting the quality of life and promoting the equality of all South Africans through the progressive sustained eradication of poverty and the attainment of the basic needs of the majority; creating and maintaining a culture of democracy and human rights; and, lastly, establishing a more humane and caring society.

Arising from this approach, the attainment of the twin goals of socio- economic justice, also referred to as socio-economic reconstruction, and the restoration of the moral order of our country, also referred to as moral reconstruction, have crystallised as the two main strategies to be vigorously pursued to successfully attain social justice as a means of dealing with South Africa’s legacy of her apartheid past and achieving our strategic objectives.

Firstly, in respect of our socio-economic reconstruction goal we have introduced various mechanisms in pursuit of the attainment of socio- economic justice. Many have been mentioned today and I will not discuss them here.

Secondly, in respect of the moral reconstruction goal, there is, and was, a compelling need for the moral reconstruction of the country, not least of all due to the abdication of the rule of law and the violation of human rights under apartheid. This entailed our restoring some semblance of a moral order for our society, based on international norms and standards and broadly reflecting the new soul of our nation. We needed to identify a tool or mechanism to enable our nation to deal with its psychological or moral healing and to lay a foundation for the moral reconstruction of our society. This particular process of healing is highly personalised in one sense, but also has an important public dimension, as the nation as a whole needs to come to grips with such violations. One of the ways to start the healing process in South Africa was to embark on an honest assessment and diagnosis of the sickness within our society, in an attempt to give our people, both perpetrators and victims, an opportunity to face the past and its consequences, and to start afresh. It is in this context that the possible creation of a truth commission offered us one such opportunity to deal with the past without dwelling on it, and to establish the moral foundation from which to build a truly new South Africa. Hence, the genesis of the TRC.

I would venture the opinion that the TRC was a logical conclusion to our atrocious and shameful past. The establishment of the TRC did not take place in a vacuum; it is not an abstract concept drafted by lawyers in some dark, secret room. The idea, not the detail, germinated in the crucible of struggle; born in the engine room of political negotiation. Negotiation is about building trust, confidence-building mechanisms between protagonists, as much as anything else. The manner in which our transition unfolded through the process of political negotiation made the possibility of the establishment of a truth commission inevitable. I would go so far as to venture that the final settlement of the negotiation process, codified in the interim Constitution, at least implicitly, contained the seeds of the establishment of the TRC.

Thus, in 1995, this Parliament established the TRC by passing the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act. This marked one of the historic events, during the transition, which facilitated the so-called “South African miracle”. Although the establishment of truth commissions had become a widely used tool or mechanism in the recent past, the TRC marked a unique moment in world history, because it was the first time that a nation had created a truth commission through a public, participatory and democratically verifiable process, by way of an Act of Parliament. The TRC, also in many other respects, featured unique and historic characteristics, which individually, collectively or contextually, had never been utilised in the context of a truth commission. Suffice it to say for now that our approach was for the first time ever to contextualise an individualised amnesty process, within the framework and context of a truth commission, in such a manner as to focus in a balanced and reconciliatory manner on the restoration of the dignity, honour and integrity of the victims, while at the same time giving effect to the constitutional provision of providing for an amnesty process. Although it is undoubtedly so that the TRC will always proudly stand out as a shining beacon of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, we must continuously strive to maintain a balanced perspective in respect of the role and value of the TRC in addressing the legacy of the past, especially in achieving or promoting reconciliation. It should neither be underemphasised nor overemphasised.

In the context of what has gone before it cannot be overemphasised strongly enough that the TRC is but one mechanism we have pursued in respect of our deliberate policy of reconciliation, reconstruction and development, to enable us to address but one moral aspect of the legacy of our past, namely the various forms of mainly physical violence we unleashed against one another. It was never meant to address all the wrongs caused by our apartheid legacy, which are varied, complex and multifaceted, as its focused and limited mandate bears witness to.

It is important to stress that reconciliation, reconstruction and development form a process, not a single event or even a series of events, and in all probability a lengthy process at that. The TRC was and is not meant to equal reconciliation. The TRC per se cannot bring reconciliation; it can only create a space to facilitate the process. Long after the TRC has ceased to exist, the process of reconciliation will still be continuing in various other forms, more particularly within civil society. The TRC is but one moment, one event, albeit an important moment or event, in the new lease of life of our nation; it is not the process itself.

Hopefully the process will now be conducted at a qualitatively and quantitatively higher level, with a nation more at peace with herself. Even if the TRC only makes a valuable contribution towards raising that level to some extent, future generations will not judge us too harshly; they may even smile fondly upon us. The TRC’s importance is that it came relatively close to the beginning of the process. It was the first time that a South African government - ironically the democratic one - through the creation of the TRC acknowledged that terrible wrongs had been perpetrated upon her people, mainly by the old government, and provided them with a state- instituted and sponsored mechanism, independently managed and controlled by civil society.

Without pleading for ahistorical behaviour, we must be particularly careful not to elevate this one mechanism of a TRC, as important as it is, to some mythical status as our only or most important vehicle to achieve reconciliation, in isolation from all the other mechanisms we are utilising to achieve social justice and to reconcile our people. A danger lurks within such an approach, because it may create expectations which could never be met by the creation of the TRC.

It is in this context that the attainment of the twin goals of socio- economic justice and the restoration of the moral order of our country to deal with our apartheid legacy has been referred to by Dr Alex Boraine, as our “unfinished business” - the flip side of the same coin. Whilst the focus of the TRC will be on seeking the truth in search of restoring the moral order and the pursuit of reconciliation and unity, serious delays in the improvement of the quality of life of persons will bring into disrepute any attempts at reconciliation. If we do not substantially deliver on socio- economic justice, then no matter how reconciliatory we are or whether we know the complete truth about our past or not, the whole South African liberation and democratisation project could perhaps be put in jeopardy. Revealing the complete truth of our shameful past, without attaining socio- economic justice, or conversely, attaining socio-economic justice without revealing the complete truth, either scenario spells failure, possible disaster and is unacceptable - the anathema of attaining social transformation. Simply put, reconciliation cannot be promoted at the expense of reconstruction and development, with the converse being equally true.

Finally and very importantly, I need to mention possibly one of the greatest “hidden” achievements of the TRC, which amazingly is never mentioned. During most recent transitions, especially those involving a move away from a military dictatorship, either simultaneously or prior to the establishment of a truth commission, these have been accompanied by a decision to decree a general or blanket amnesty. In these transitions, the truth commission and general amnesty became necessary and sometimes uncomfortable bedfellows.

In my view, the granting of such a general amnesty has been the main reason for creating a situation of impunity in those countries, resulting in the hegemony and the conspiracy of silence of the government forces which were involved in violations, remaining virtually intact during such transitions, and which has in return led to such forces remaining outside their truth commission processes.

Our TRC bears witness to the first occasion in world history that I am aware of where the hegemony and the conspiracy of silence of the security forces, in this instance especially the police, had been broken in a country undergoing a transition to democracy, by way of a truth commission.

In conclusion, as we continue building our nation, we may well heed Andreas Sajo, when he opines:

There is no perfect condition for justice to take place, but transition, in particular, produces a special set of conditions for imperfect justice.

However, we also need to keep reminding ourselves that eight years ago South Africa began a journey to deal with the pathology of her past, with the possibility of reconciliation without justice, or with the possibility of justice without reconciliation. She ended with reconciliation and justice. The basic concept of “the South African way” is captured eloquently in the words of Prof Werle:

Inner unity requires reconciliation and this in turn requires the public recognition of the historical truth. Those who are meant to forgive must know what they are forgiving. It is therefore insufficient to establish the historical truth in merely an abstract manner. Instead, the violence of the past and its causes must be named, the suffering of the victims concretely established. Truth has precedence over punishment, but also over amnesty. Acknowledgement legitimises amnesty, silence excludes it. Punishment can, to a certain extent, be negotiated. The truth cannot. This is South Africa’s message to societies in transition. There is no reconciliation without the truth.

I thank you very much. [Applause.]

Mr M F CASSIM: Chairperson, hon President Mbeki, hon colleagues, on 4 April I excluded myself from a 10-year formal relationship with the IFP to have the independence to address a new peace and reconciliation effort. I leave next week for Australia, as a peace and reconciliation ambassador, to participate in an MRA conference examining the theme: Together we can make a difference.

This is directly linked to a civil society initiative that I founded and am involved in, namely Peace Alive. Peace Alive, a registered Section 21 Company, will support negotiations to overcome intractable political problems. Within months we shall invite 25 Israeli and 25 Palestinian graduates, with leadership potential, to dialogue in the neutral and conducive space of South Africa.

The work that I will be doing in the PJC and Peace Alive will require freedom from the strictures of a party caucus and a party National Council. I therefore requested to work in co-operation with the IFP, to fulfil the 1999 mandate, while being afforded the opportunity of pursuing my political career in a separate direction.

I now turn briefly to Iraq. War, even when it is fought with the most modern equipment, remains a retrogressive way of defeating terror and dictators. The reported loss of items of antiquity is unconscionable, the death of innocent civilians remain unacceptable. War is destructive and senseless. The deepest consequences of this war have still to surface. Modern human beings will need to consider alternative and decisive means of combating terrorism and overthrowing tyrants and despots wherever they are.

I will now address the TRC report and the issues of reparation. The President’s announcement of granting a once-off R30 000 to each identified individual, on top of a portion of the interim grant of R50 million, is a positive start. Care needs to be taken that recipients are well counselled in order that they are not wheedled out of their gratuity by crooks and shysters.

Government must also make sure that those who need an enhanced pension, get it, and that those whose education was disrupted, will be able to complete their education.

In place of the once-off wealth tax, proposed by the TRC, it might be better to consider a business, farm and residential levy in respect of individuals occupying the 25 or so per cent of the most desirable and select locations in the country. This levy should be for ten years. Apartheid was, after all, about seizing the most desirable locations through Group Areas and until that ghost is laid to rest, reparation will not have taken place.

For peace to take root in South Africa, justice has to be served. In addition, a special levy of 0,50% on taxable income from those who earn above R200 000 should also be considered in place of a voluntary contribution. This should also last for ten years. It would be a small price to pay for stability and peace.

In conclusion, I am very pleased that the President has left the door open in respect of amnesty. We must collectively address this issue and find a solution that will finally resolve the matter. Thank you.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Mr Chairperson, hon President, hon Premiers and Ministers, hon members and compatriots, much has been said, Mr Chairperson, so that I rather give my time that is left and attention to those who are on the verge of being forgotten. I quote:

Silence is betrayal. A time comes when silence is betrayal. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and those it calls the enemy.

Martin Luther King Jnr, vexed in spirit, had that to say when he looked at the contradictions of injustice juxtaposed against both the genuine and selective struggle for justice, truth and peace.

I therefore dedicate this humble contribution to the many unsung, uncared for, the marginalised and even the forgotten mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of this land. I do not forget the cadres languishing in urban ghettoes and in rural villages neglected and forgotten. I remember, too, the many people of goodwill in places such as Houghton, Greenside, Randgate, Clewer and the neighbouring countries.

My tribute goes out to the widow, Mma-Moshoeu, the mother of the late Phaki Moshoeu, alias Rogers Manyalo, and his late brother, Gordon Moshoeu, otherwise known as Grenade.

My tribute also goes to Mamongane and Tsakane, parents of Tebogo Timothy Seremane, his Chimurenga name, Kenneth Mahamba; Moshabi, mzukuru wa Komosha Wedza [Moshabi, nephew of Komosha Wedza].

I also think of Mrs Makhubu, mother of the brave young man, nameless to many, who bears the slain young Hector Peterson in his arms in the posters we occasionally see.

Sadly, too, I think of the parents of Thamsanqa Ndunge, otherwise known as Joel Mahlathini; the family and brother of Maki Skhosana; the children of the late Dr Ribeiro and the late Mrs Ribeiro; Sam Mokodubete; Selby Themba Ngendana and Joas Mpakeleng Mogale.

Truth and reconciliation is a historic effort that we must regard as a gift and a work of grace and mercy, in spite of all its shortcomings. This kind of project should not be left to be trivialised by all of us.

The immediate task of reparation for victims of gross injustices of apartheid cannot be overemphasised. Those who know better have pronounced, and correctly so, that, I quote:

Reconciliation is no easy option nor does it rule out confrontation. Just as there can be no cheap grace, there can never be any cheap reconciliation, because we cannot cry `peace, peace’ …

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon member, your time has expired.

Mr W J SEREMANE: … where peace does not prevail. I thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I don’t think it is necessary for me to go over what I consider, in general terms, to be a very good debate on the speech by the President on the occasion of his tabling the final report of the TRC. I do think we have had a wonderful discussion. All of us had a moment to reflect on where this country has come from, where it is and where it is going. Unless one intends to dilute what has been said, or in any way which is negative affect what has been said, one should not go over the debate.

I think what remains to be done now that the President has performed his task under section 44 of the Act is for Parliament to then perform its function under section 27(2) of the Act, which would then conclude this part of our work. Therefore, I do think, Chairperson, that at a certain moment you might indeed want to consider reminding Parliament what its specific function is in this regard.

It is unavoidable, however, to comment on some of the observations that were made by some of the members. It’s expected, I’m sure, that one should start with the hon member Mncwango’s remarks. Hon member Mncwango says we need to close the book, and he talks about the issues of amnesty and of ensuring that bygones do indeed become bygones.

I do wish that the hon member had adopted this posture when the moment was right, when indeed we could all have advised all the people, who participated in the conflicts of the past under the auspices of our parties, how to deal with the TRC. This is because if we had not encouraged people to regard the TRC with disdain, the hon member would not be making this plea today. The hon member said that a group of ANC leaders - 27 of them - applied for amnesty and failed to get it.

I don’t how many times we have tried to explain what was happening here. That group of ANC leaders was led by the President here. I dare any member of this Parliament to stand up now and say what the President is guilty of. And even if they have evidence, they are fully entitled to go to the nearest police station and say: “Charge him.”

What we decided to do as the leadership of the ANC, which the TRC failed to understand, was to take full responsibility for whatever happened under the auspices of the ANC. [Applause.] Good and bad. That was a deliberate position we took.

In other words, we did not find it useful to distance ourselves from people who fought apartheid under us, and those who may have made any mistakes in the course of fighting and, indeed, who may even have committed crimes. We said, as the ANC leadership, that we couldn’t do that. Of course, there are parties which chose to distance themselves from their own cadres. They did do so. [Applause.] The ANC didn’t do that.

Now, I am saying that if indeed you know of any crime we committed for which we need to be punished or pilloried, go to the nearest police station. They will take a statement from you, and eventually whatever you think is evidence at your disposal would have to stand judicial scrutiny. If it fails, accept that.

The hon member then made another very interesting remark here. He said that the President of the Republic of South Africa said that the ANC leadership conspired to kill uMntwana wakwa Phindangene. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want to quote what the TRC was told by the ANC leadership in its second submission to the TRC. I’m on page 13 of 41 pages, and I quote:

The TRC has asked what was the ANC’s “military policy” towards Inkatha, and whether the ANC leadership considered members of Inkatha to be “legitimate military targets”. The ANC had no “military policy” with regard to Inkatha. The ANC has never considered Inkatha members or officials as targets simply because they aligned themselves with Inkatha.

Now I dare the hon member to produce evidence to the effect that the President said that we, in the leadership of the ANC, conspired to kill uMntwana wakwa Phindangene. We never did. What we certainly did tell the TRC was that when we became aware of the existence of a unit in uMkhonto weSizwe that indeed was debating and thinking of this, we made the necessary interventions as leadership. We made those interventions.

Now it was not the leadership. Anybody could have discussed the President - could have discussed Madiba. It would be grossly erroneous on the part of anyone to say that that was a conspiracy on the part of the leadership to murder uMntwana wakwa Phindangene. But once we became aware of that, we intervened. Hence, nothing was done to harm him. [Applause.]

He works with us in our Government today as a matter of choice by us in the ANC, because we value the contribution he makes. We never conspired to kill him. Indeed, the record will show that the President never made that statement, and if the hon member wishes to challenge it, the record is there in the archives. It was captured electronically, and it is also there in hard copy. We shall retrieve it for the benefit of this House.

The hon member also said something about Archbishop Tutu’s bias. It is useful to remember that no commissioner was self-appointed. They were all appointed by the head of state under this Act - the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995. At least two conditions applied with regard to their appointment. The first condition was that they would be appointed by the head of state, by the President, as commissioners “in consultation” with the Cabinet, not “after consultation”, but “in consultation”. Then, of course, that implies that we had a veto over the President’s power to appoint them, because if indeed we didn’t want any one of them as members of Cabinet, we could easily have said, “No, Mr President, not this one.” [Interjections.]

The second condition before I come to what I was going to say, was that they would be fit and proper persons who would be impartial and who would not have a high political profile. Of course, what the hon member doesn’t say is where else we could have found these people. We were not looking for a deus ex machina that would descend from on high to solve our problems. We were looking at South Africans as we found them. Indeed, inasmuch as Tutu might have had anything to do with the United Democratic Front, the number 2 after him, Alex Boraine, had very much to do with Tony Leon’s party, a lot to do with it! Nobody tells us that he had a particular bias.

There were others as well who had real hostility towards my ANC. But when the President said, “These are the men and women I want to appoint as commissioners”, acting in consultation with us in Cabinet, we all said that that was right and to go ahead and appoint them. Indeed, the TRC has done a good job with very limited resources and within limited time. [Applause.] The world despatches delegations upon delegations to come here. As I’m speaking there’s a delegation here from Sri Lanka to learn from us how we South Africans made it, how we did it. For God’s sake they would not be coming here if we had made a mistake by setting up the TRC and appointing whoever we did appoint through the President. It was not a mistake.

Again, it was absolutely necessary for us as a country to go through that cathartic experience so that we are able to say that though we don’t know the whole truth, though we may be some distance away from reconciliation, though we may be some distance away indeed from the total eradication of poverty, the truth is that as a country we are able to say that the past will never be visited upon anybody and upon any community in this country.

There never shall be education specifically for a certain group, intended to thwart and stunt its development as a group. There never will be group areas, there never will be whites-only schools, etc. There never, for that matter, will be any parts of the God-given Indian and Atlantic Oceans reserved for certain races. That will never happen. It can’t happen. [Applause.] It can’t happen, because the people of the Republic of South Africa in their entirety, black and white, turned their backs once and for all on apartheid and whatever it stood for. All of them!

I said last week that even those who had to be grabbed by the scruffs of their necks and led kicking and screaming into the modern Republic of South Africa accept today that there will never be a moment for them to drag this country back to where it has come from. I said to Afrikaners last week that the Afrikaner adage “Agteros kom ook in die kraal” is applicable here.

Bantu Holomisa, my old friend the hon Holomisa, wants to know why we are actually opposed to the litigation in the US. This has been canvassed by so many speakers that I don’t think we need to dwell on it that long. But I think it needs to be said that if we could find political and, subsequently, social and economic problems to what seemed intractable problems of the Republic of South Africa, it shall not take a court in America in excess of 10 000 kilometres from here to find a solution to the disabilities of blacks. I want to say, again: Think carefully about what you are talking about.

Imagine the scenario if these companies, which are actually trading in the South African economy and have investments here, have judgments imposed on them by America and, as a result of those judgments, they then have to pay damages to a whole host of people - by the way, the money won’t come from trees, it will come from investments - and therefore they may have to shred jobs. The same people that you pretend to be so concerned about, will pay the price. It won’t be paid by anybody else, after a judge in America has given that decision. It will affect the people of South Africa directly.

We, this Government, think we should deal with the problem totally differently, and we want to believe that the masses of our people accept the way we are dealing with it. We have no intention whatsoever of causing a socioeconomic interruption in whatever we are trying to do and achieve. We have no intention whatsoever of doing that. No leader worthy of his or her salt would do anything that is tantamount to shooting himself or herself in the foot and hoping he or she can run after that. We shall not do that. We shall do it our way.

The President has invited all of us to make a contribution towards the President’s Fund and, indeed, we should. It is an invitation extended to all of us, whether we were beneficiaries of apartheid or victims thereof, or whatever. Maybe like Tony Leon you might have been neither fish nor foul, etc. [Interjections.] No matter what you may have been, there is a call that has been made in that if you are able to do anything about the plight of the majority out there, do it. Do it. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to posterity to do something about the disabilities of blacks that are neatly traceable to our past, to our colonial past and its apartheid offshoot.

Therefore, what remains to be done is for each and every one of us to go to the constituencies we represent and interact with and to tell them about the message of the President. Ke a leboga Ngiyabonga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, that concludes the debate. However, I want to remind you that the Minister has indicated that the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act provides for a joint committee to consider matters referred to it in terms of the Act. This committee will now be constituted to take matters further and specifically to consider recommendations with regard to reparations for victims, as required by section 27 of the legislation.

We need now to speedily give consideration to the proposals that were presented to us earlier by the President. The presiding officers will constitute the joint committee as soon as possible and mandate it to submit its report as soon as we return from recess.

The Speaker adjourned the Joint Sitting at 19:03.