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October 29
1998: Apartheid report accuses SA leaders
[ 2006-10-31 08:00 ]

October 29

October 29
More than 21,000 people gave evidence
1998: Apartheid report accuses SA leaders

England have

The long-awaited report by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has accused leading figures from across the political spectrum of human rights violations.

In the report into abuses underapartheid, former President PW Botha, Home Affairs minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Winnie Mandela are all singled out for their actions.

The ruling African National Congress is also blamed.

Mr Botha is held accountable for killings during his time in office, Mr Buthelezi is held responsible for killings carried out by members of his Inkatha Freedom Party, and Ms Mandela is judged to have been implicated in murders and was said to have allowed her home to be used as a place for assault and mutilation.

But according to the report the most serious culprit of the apartheid years is the South African state itself.

When handing over the report the Chairman of the Commission Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "It won't change the fact that they have killed bombed and tortured their own people. Those are not intentions of the Commission."

Accepting the report, President Nelson Mandela declared: "The wounds of the period of repression and resistance are too deep to have been healed by the TRC alone."

"We areextricatingourselves from a system that insulted our common humanity by dividing us from one another by race".

Last minute attempts by the ANC to delay publication of the report failed, but former President FW de Klerk was successful in his bid to delay the publication of sections of the report about his suggested links to state-sponsored bombings.

During its investigation into crimes committed during the apartheid era the commission heard testimonies from more than 21,000 victims.

October 29
There were scenes of appalling devastation following the cyclone

1999: Super-cyclone wreaks havoc in India

Artificially 1969:
The A massive cyclone has swept through the state of Orissa in eastern India, killing an unknown number of people and leaving thousands more homeless.

The extent of the damage is difficult to determine. The area is almost impossible to reach, as the cyclone has torn down bridges and made roads and railways impassable.

All communications have been cut, and the rescue effort is being hampered by the continuing bad weather.

Officials in the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, say nine deaths have been confirmed, but that number is expected to rise rapidly.

Many towns and villages have not been able to report casualty figures or damage assessments because telephone lines have been brought down.

The winds are believed to have reached over 160 mph (250 km/h) - some of the highest ever recorded in the region.

A devastating tidal wave has also driven in across the low-lying plains along the coast, wiping out entire villages.

Unconfirmed reports say the flooding stretches as much as nine miles inland.

Army helicopters have begun dropping food parcels to survivors, and have reported thousands of people stranded on the roofs of their houses or huddled together in pockets of high ground.

The government is to deploy soldiers to help the rescue effort, and emergency specialists are also making their way to the region.

There is serious concern, however, that the scale of the disaster and the remoteness of some of the communities affected will make it extremely difficult to get supplies through to the worst-hit areas.

The longer relief is delayed, the higher the likelihood of water-borne diseases and starvation setting in.

There has already been a call from some politicians in Delhi for the government to call on the international community for help.

It is the second cyclone to hit the area in two weeks.

The first, with winds of about 135 mph (217 km/h), hit a little further down the coast in mid-October.

It killed more than 150 people and affected nearly 500,000 others.


apartheid: a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against non-whites; the former official policy in South Africa(南非的种族隔离)

extricate:release from entanglement of difficulty(解脱)

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