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Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 11:32 GMT
South African 'truth' row resolved
Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu chaired the Truth Commission
The last obstacle to the publication of the final report of South Africa's Truth an Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has been removed.

In an out-of-court settlement in Cape Town, the TRC has agreed to amend a number of sections which blamed the mainly-Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party for human rights abuses during the final years of apartheid.

There were about 30 or so changes to the final report, but these changes were cosmetic

Richard Lyster, TRC
The TRC, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was set up to investigate human rights violations under apartheid, to advance reconciliation and the reconstruction of a new South Africa.

The final report is now set to be published in the first half of this year, opening the way for thousands of victims of the apartheid era to receive compensation.

Doctor Mangosutho Buthelezi and his Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) had questioned the findings of the report and a court case was due to begin on Wednesday to challenge 37 entries directly accusing both the IFP and Doctor Buthelezi of human rights abuses.

Appendix

The interim report, which was submitted to then President Nelson Mandela in 1998, described the IFP as "responsible for approximately 30% of all the violations reported to the commission".

Some 12,000 people were killed in political violence in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990s.

Mangosutho Buthelezi
Buthelezi objects to amnesty

President Thabo Mbeki was due to be handed the final document last year, but the objections raised by Mr Buthelezi and the IFP delayed is publication.

The judge at Cape Town high court approved the settlement, which includes a number of changes of wording in the final report, although not all the concessions demanded by the court action.

"There were about 30 or so changes to the final report, but these changes were cosmetic. It does not in any way change the core findings of the commission," TRC spokesman Richard Lyster told the French news agency, AFP.

A four-page appendix from Inkatha will be added to the two-volume report.

This would clearly state the party's objections to the whole amnesty process, which it has been opposed to since the public hearings accounts from victims and confessions began in 1996.

Thousands of people named in the report have been recommended for reparations - payments as compensation for the suffering they endured under apartheid.

These will progress with the publication of the final report.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
TRC Commissioner, Mary Burton
"The road is open for the government to respond to all of the TRC's recommendations"
See also:

16 Feb 99 | Truth and Reconciliation
29 Oct 98 | Truth and Reconciliation
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