Source: (2004) The South Atlantic Quarterly. 103(4): 755-768.

In this essay, Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze delves into questions pertaining to forgiveness in the aftermath of human rights abuses under apartheid in South Africa. For example, what motivates victims of abuses to forgive? What does it mean for victims to forgive the past? What kind of morality should govern questions about processes connected with forgiveness such as offering or not offering forgiveness, accepting or not accepting forgiveness, and so on? In a similar vein, what are the ethics of forgiveness in relation to the necessary requirements of justice and the memory of past acts of state-sanctioned crimes? Eze reflects on these and other questions to shed light on reasons for forgiveness and the ethical and political uses of public memories of gross, systemic, state-sanctioned human rights violations.