Source: (2000) In Truth v. justice: The morality of truth commissions, eds. Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, 158-169. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Ntsebeza argues in this essay that the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) should serve as a model for other truth commissions in the future. To make this argument, Ntsebeza discusses several key matters: the opportunity for restoration of civil and human dignity to victims through telling their stories of victimization; ambiguities related to criminal justice and the exposure of truth, especially in connection with the controversy over the amnesty provision of the TRC; the question whether retribution is the only form of punishment; and the role of a truth commission as only one agent for social change in a transitional society.