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Campaign against Impunity

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Medizinische Flüchtlingshilfe Bochum e.V.

Netzwerk gegen Straflosigkeit / Red contra la impunidad / Network against impunity

Khulumani Support Group, South Africa:

Launch of Charter for Redress on Friday, August 17 in Church Square, Pretoria
on the occasion of the Court Appearance of Former Apartheid Perpetrators

Johannesburg, August 14, 2007

On Friday, August 17, 2007, Khulumani Support Group with support from its civil society partners, will launch its comprehensive Charter for Redress at an advocacy event to be held in Church Square in Pretoria starting at 09:15. The event will include a march from Church Square to the Pretoria High Court where former Minister Adriaan Vlok and General Johan van der Merwe will make their appearances in a case related to their roles in the attempted poisoning of Reverend Frank Chikane, now Director- General in the Office of the President.

Khulumani's Charter for Redress has been developed from submissions from Khulumani's provincial membership groups in all nine provinces and names the critical issues that have yet to be addressed if the successful healing of the nation is to be achieved. The Charter identifies the fact that reconciliation has a price - the price is the cost of redressing the terrible wrongs done to individuals and communities across South Africa. The Charter provides a checklist for all South Africans to explore what it is that victims and survivors require if they are to experience a sense of justice and to become restored to active participation in the ongoing construction of a society that benefits and includes all its citizens, not only the 45% who presently live above Minimal Living Standards.

The launch will draw attention to the first appearance in the Pretoria High Court of two high profile apartheid government officials who are being brought to court using the amended prosecutions guidelines, adopted by government in December 2005 without public consultation. These amendments create new and less rigorous amnesty opportunities for apartheid criminals who either failed in their original applications to the TRC or who avoided altogether engaging with the TRC. Khulumani Support Group with its partners, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and the Legal Resources Centre with five victim co-applicants are challenging the constitutionality of these amended guidelines. Rather than working to end impunity, these guidelines provide what amounts to a "re-run" of the TRC process without any of the inherent guarantees of the TRC.

While new opportunities are created for apartheid criminals to once again try to seek indemnity from prosecution, no benefits or opportunities have been extended to victims and survivors of apartheid atrocities to address their urgent needs. The Charter lists these needs and demands that they are redressed. Ordinary South Africans who stood for truth and justice at their local levels in townships and villages across the nation, demand to be heard. There can be no healing without justice. They demand demand full public disclosure by perpetrators of their activities during apartheid and the consequences of these activities. Khulumani's March and Launch of its Charter mark its commitment to building a culture of transparency and accountability in South Africa

Victims and survivors struggled for a country in which every individual is treated with equal concern and respect, regardless of their status or social position; one in which every person is treated as equal before the law. We reject special legal provisions for apartheid perpetrators. This is a travesty of justice and undermines the faith of citizens in our justice system. As citizens struggling to realise a truly accountable, compassionate and inclusive society, we demand to be heard and to have our voices count.

Please join us for the launch of Khulumani's Charter for Redress on Friday, August 17, 2007 between 09:00 and 12:30 in Church Square, Pretoria. The Charter for Redress is attached to this press release and can also be accessed on our website www.khulumani.net

For more information or for comments, please call:
Mr Tshepo Madlingozi, Advocacy Coordinator 082 496 9914
Ms Nomarussia Bonase, East Rand Coordinator 082 751 9903
Mr Zweli Mkhize, Liaison Officer 073 704 6414
Dr Marjorie Jobson, Acting Director 082 268 0223

Away with the Amended Prosecutions Guidelines
No Indemnity Behind Closed Doors
Justice for Victims and Survivors
We demand full disclosure

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