About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Human Rights Commission (HRC)

'An independent organisation, it came into existence in September 1988, seven months after the banning of a number of anti-apartheid organisations and restricting of others, including the Detainees Parents' Support Committee (DPSC).

Among other functions, such as providing counselling for released detainees and lawyers and advice for detainees' families, the DPSC had been monitoring human rights violations, especially detentions. Its restriction created an information vacuum, only partially filled by regional monitoring projects and the Democratic Party's violence monitoring group. The HRC took up the slack.

The HRC gathers information from numerous sources including community structures, lawyers, the media and the government itself. National coverage is assured by a network of collection points located in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, and with a small staff, the HRC provides a vital service in gauging violence in South Africa. It is led by commissioners Dr Max Coleman (national chairman), Brigalia Bam, Rev Denny Chetty, Chris Dhlamini, Fr Smangaliso Mkatshwa, Silas Nkanune, Adv Dullah Omar, Wesley Pretorius, Dr Faizel Randera, Jeremy Sarkin and Howard Varney.

The information collected by the HRC is collated in publications which are distributed nationally and inter-nationally. In addition, the HRC submits evidence to bodies inquiring into human rights violations. Its findings are made available to anyone requesting them.

Tel: (011) 4034450

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.