06 May 2016
#TRC20 report back: We Never Give Up II documentary screening
The film screening of the documentary We Never Give Up II, which was shown on Thursday 5 May at Constitution Hill, gave an insightful yet sad conclusion to TRC month. This film follows the stories of the Khulumani Support Group members in the Western Cape, who suffered multiple atrocities during apartheid. The screening was part of a collaborative programme to mark 20 years since the first public hearings, on 15 April 1996, of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This screening was co-hosted by Shirley Gunn of HRMC and SAHA board member Verne Harris.
The screening was introduced by both Shirley Gunn and Verne Harris, who gave viewers a brief explanation of the victims who were involved in the documentary, and acknowledged the existing issues surrounding the TRC. This was followed by the screening of the documentary.
We Never Give Up II highlighted the various ways in which victims and survivors of the apartheid era recount their stories and struggles pertaining to the TRC. They discuss the various injustices brought upon them and their families as well as the existing issue of reparation, which was aimed at providing compensation to those who suffered under the apartheid era. Two of the main issues surrounding reparations were the limited number of people receiving compensation, and the amount given to the victims. These limitations were shared by all of the victims shown in the documentary and was emphasised once these victims shared their struggles with unemployment and physical disabilities.
Once the documentary had ended viewers were then led into a discussion by Verne Harris and Shirley Gunn where they were able to share their concerns about the TRC and the victims who currently do not benefit from all reparations that were promised by the TRC. What was particularly interesting about this discussion was that viewers were able to gain a better understanding of the work that Shirley Gunn is involved in. This documentary symbolises the way in which many organisations are still fighting for the victim’s rights and also depicts how these Human Rights organisations are encouraging and supporting communities to claim back their rights.
This documentary was powerful in that it gave the personal experiences of the victims of the apartheid era and highlighted their struggles today. Their personal accounts depict the existing traumas created by apartheid and allows South Africans to question the aims of the TRC.
Find out more about SAHA's TRC Collection
Find out more about the Khulumani Support Group
Find out more about Constitution Hill