Source: (2004) In Cahiers d'études africaines, 44(1-2). South Africa: Centre for Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Downloaded 3 February 2005.

This one is among the first comparative studies of reparation in the light of transitional justice in Southern Africa largely unexplored, save of course for South Africa. At the core of the South African transformation is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) considered by some to be "the most far-reaching and the most effective of its genre". Similarly, South Africa's Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee of the TRC is the source of scholarly and policy debates in transitional justice circles worldwide. Yet, despite its popularity, South Africa's transitional process merits critical examination especially needed with the reparation issue which generated controversy and acrimony. This study seeks to add to the growing literature on reparations to victims of human rights abuses in the context of a political transition, by examining the experiences of South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique in developing official, non-judicial reparation programmes for victims/survivors of human rights abuses. For each country, the study explores: the nature of the political transition; the nature of the human rights violations or political atrocities that took place; the identifiable needs arising as consequences from human rights violations; programmes (if any) aimed at providing "reparation" and their targeted beneficiaries; factors accounting for the development (or non-development) of these programmes; and the consequences of the reparation programmes. Any debate on overcoming an unjust past ultimately has to deal with the issue of reparation, which should not be confused with reconstruction or reconciliation. (excerpt)


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