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After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: challenges facing the historian in a democratic South Africa

Pisani, Kobus
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, Jaargang 47 No.1

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was mandated to establish “the truth” about the causes, nature and extent of gross violations of human rights in the country between 1960 and 1994. This article assesses the significance of the TRC for historians and the writing of history in South Africa. The first section focuses on the task of assessing the TRC evidence and providing guidelines on how this evidence may be used in the quest for historic truth. The strengths and weaknesses of the TRC evidence are pointed out. A discussion of the role of the TRC in narrowing the gap between academic and public history follows in the second section. The third section deals with the significance of the TRC in the reinterpretation of a period in South African history. It is the main objective of the article to reflect upon the tasks of historians after the TRC. (Excerpt from Author)


AbstractCourtsDiscovering TruthMeaning of JusticePolicePost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationVictim Support
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