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‘This thing called reconciliation…‘ forgiveness as part of an interconnectedness-towards-wholeness.

Krog, Antjie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) South African Journal of Philosophy. 27(4):353-366.

Regular reference is made, within the discourse around the South African
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to the fact that ubuntu, an indigenous
world view, played a role in the process. This paper tries to show that despite
these references, important analysts of the TRC (as well as many South Africans)
had insufficiently accounted for this worldview in their critical readings
of the Commission’s work and therefore found aspects of the process incoherent
and/or morally and legally confused. I am not arguing that the TRC
was not a deeply flawed process, but want to establish how powerfully this
indigenous world view brought a coherency that not only enabled the TRC to
do its work without incidences of revenge, but imbued politically and legally
trapped concepts with new possibilities. The pervasiveness of this world
view within eg. the second round of TRC testimonies is noticeable and show
how often the critique on the TRC fails to take this dominant role into account
and how many, seemingly contradictory or confusing, positions become
coherent when regarded within this worldview. This view of interconnectedness,
consistently expressed throughout the life of the commission, has
wide implications for the interpretation of healing, the asking of amnesty, the
rehabilitation of perpetrators, the interdependence of forgiveness and reconciliation
in the process of achieving full personhood within a healed society.
In the footsteps of Richard Bell, this paper locates this world view within a
particular framework formulated as ubuntu by Desmond Tutu, as communitarianism
by Kwame Gyekye, as ethnophilosophy by Paulin Hountondji etc.
The paper also tries to understand how this interconnected moral self is
formed and who the community could or should be that influences this moral
self. (author’s abstract)


AbstractAfricaCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in SchoolsStatutes and Legislation
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