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Truth and recognition in South Africa: The third way

Boraine, Alexander
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Truth v. justice: The morality of truth commissions, eds. Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, 141-157. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

After decades of turmoil and violence due to apartheid and resistance to apartheid, South Africa began a comparatively peaceful transition to a more democratic society in 1994. As part of this transition, South Africa initiated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to investigate past abuses and to provide foundations for reconciliation. The TRC was modeled in part on previous truth commissions in other countries. Other aspects of the South African TRC reflected unique features. Boraine sketches the development of the TRC, including the enacting parliamentary legislation and powers granted to the TRC. With all of this in mind, Boraine goes on to discuss the amnesty provisions of the TRC, and issues related to the TRC’s role with respect to reconciliation in South African society.


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