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The Effectiveness of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Perceptions of Xhosa, Afrikaner, and English South Africans

Vora, Jay A
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Journal of Black Studies. 34(3): 301-322.

This article empirically assesses the effectiveness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa as perceived by three ethnic groups in South Africa, namely, Xhosa, Afrikaners, and English. It examines whether the participants of each ethnic group viewed the TRC to be effective in bringing out the truth and bringing about reconciliation. The article also examines whether the TRC was viewed as having had a positive effect on South Africa’s society, economy, politics, and image in the world. In addition, the perceived overall success of the TRC is assessed. The Afrikaner participants perceived the TRC to be less effective than the English participants and much less effective than the Xhosa participants. Finally, the article discusses potential future benefits that may be gained from the experiences of South Africa’s TRC to manage ethnic and racial conflicts in other parts of the world. Author’s abstract.


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