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Constructing a report: Writing up the ‘truth.’

Villa-Vicencio, Charles
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Truth v. justice: The morality of truth commissions, eds. Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, 279-294. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

The writers of the Final Report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) sought to summarize vast amounts of information testimony gathered by the TRC during its operation and to present the TRC’s conclusions based on that information. The report also functions as a guide to the documents and other materials collected by the TRC and stored at the South African National Archives. The report then is a resource – among other, necessary resources – for historical research into the apartheid decades and for a national heritage and memory. The authors of this chapter describe the purposes of the report and the difficult process of writing it in relation to the purposes of the TRC and contemporaneous social and political realities.


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