Source: (2007) Contexto internacional 29(2): 393-421.

The democratic transition in South Africa was painful but peaceful. After years of state violent oppression in a society remarkably divided between blacks and whites, the transitional process allowed the emergence of a democratic society, taking the road of psychological restoration and social reconciliation. One of the most important elements of the success of that process was the choice of restorative justice as the way to deal with the crimes committed during the past regime. Because of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa refused a punitive model but guaranteed criminal responsibility and investigation of the facts.