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Evaluating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Stanley, Elizabeth
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Journal of Modern African Studies. 39(3): 525-546.

Following a negotiated transition to democracy in South Africa, the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established to deal with crimes
of the past regime. Despite the detail of submissions and the length of the
Final Report, this article highlights the partiality of truth recognised by the
Commission. The usefulness of acknowledged truth to deal with South
Africa’s past is shown to have been neutralised by wider concerns of social
and criminal justice. In detailing the governmental reticence to provide
reparations, the judicial disregard to pursue prosecutions, and the dismissal
of responsibility for apartheid at a wider social level, the author argues that
opportunities for reconciliation and developmental change are limited.
Against the problems of crime, violence and unresolved land issues, the potential of the TRC to build a ‘reconciliatory bridge’ is called into question.
The truth offered by the Commission increasingly appears of limited value. Author’s abstract.


AbstractAfricaCourtsDiscovering TruthMeaning of JusticePolicePost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in SchoolsStatutes and Legislation
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