Back to RJ Archive

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake: Politics and crime in the transition to democracy in South Africa.

Simpson, Graeme
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Dixon, B. & van der Spuy, E. (eds.), Justice Gained? Crime and Crime Control in South Africa’s Transition, Cape Town: Juta Academic Publishers. Downloaded 22 August 2005.

This chapter will critically analyse the South African TRC as an innovative approach
within the evolving field of ‘transitional justice’.2 By reference to the commission’s
amnesty process, it will be argued that, in its attempts to separate politics and crime
for the purposes of building reconciliation at a political level, one of the greatest
flaws of the TRC was its failure properly to engage with the complex nature of
criminality. Not only did the amnesty process ignore many of the complexities
consequent upon the historical criminalisation of political activity, but it was also incapable of accommodating the extent to which the politicisation of crime
represented the other side of the same coin. (excerpt)


AbstractAfricaCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and StudentsVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now