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“Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Confronting the Past, Building the Future?”

O'Brien, Kevin A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) International Relations. 15(2); 1-16

One of the greatest efforts the ANC-dominated Government of National Unity (GNU) made was that of securing ‘national reconciliation’ within the country. This was an attempt to confront the past and achieve a sense of justice out of those events which had occurred, without attempting to extract revenge for those acts. By confronting and accepting the acts of the past as having been part of a political and — at times– military struggle between a liberation movement and a government entrenched in one view of the world around them, it was hoped that justice would be achieved, and that the country would be able to move forward in building and developing itself. It was for this reason that a process of national reconciliation based on the establishment of the truth surrounding these past activities, which would lead to justice being secured and served for these activities, was chosen over a war crimes, ‘Nuremberg-style’ confrontation: there was no ‘victor’ in this conflict, only a realization that fair and equitable representation at the political level had been achieved, and that in order to maintain this representation at the political level had been achieved, and that in order to maintain this representation, the future would lie in cooperation and national reconciliation, rather than in confrontation and revenge. (excerpt)


AbstractAfricaCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in SchoolsStatutes and Legislation
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