The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report statement by Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer (28 October 1998)

The release of the TRC report tomorrow must be seen as the final chapter in the book on apartheid. With this report, the epilogue on this sad chapter in our history has been written. From it, we must take the lessons that we can learn, as country, as citizens and as government. Never should the mistakes of the past be repeated again.

The TRC was a very expensive exercise - it cost the taxpayer more than R200 million. The UDM expects of this report to be balanced, and to reflect the responsibility that the TRC was tasked with - to serve as a catalyst that will bring about reconciliation to the South African society as a whole. The UDM believes that the general unhappiness as expressed by the different political parties indicates that the TRC achieved some balance in its final findings. If any one party were to be seen to feel completely comfortable with the report, it would have indicated some sort of bias.

The ANC's insistence to discuss the report with the TRC is unfair and unfounded. By insisting on this, they are blemishing the crucial impartiality that one would expect of the TRC. There is absolutely no valid reason why they should receive preferential treatment in this regard. The UDM congratulated the TRC on standing firm on this point.

The TRC report in the final instance will not determine the future of the country and the nation. South Africans have had enough of living in the past; they want to move into the future. It is time that government stop blaming all their mistakes on our apartheid past, but rather treat our painful past as a point of reference and that opposition parties stop defining their very existence within their own history. South Africans need to be enabled to make a better living for themselves and their families. It is time that the political and community leaders concentrate on uniting South Africans and providing them with hope for the future. The UDM is already achieving that: Since our inception last year, we achieved bringing South Africans from our total society together. We have united black and white, rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated, young and old, in spirit of South Africanism. Our support base is a mirror reflection of the South African population. The UDM would like to put the challenge to all South Africans from all sectors of society to embrace the New South Africa and all the challenges that it brings with it. Take on those challenges and let us jointly create a prosperous future in South Africa.

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