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Truth, Reconciliation and Justice: The South African Experience in Perspective

Asmal, Kader
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) The 1999 Chorley Lecture presented at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Thursday 4 November 1999. Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. Downloaded 11 February 2004.

In this lecture, Kader Asmal, minister of education for South Africa, reflects on truth, reconciliation, and justice in relation to the experience of South Africa – that experience being one of a past with gross human rights violations under apartheid and a transition to more democratic society and state. By legal statute the government established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). According to Asmal, the TRC sought to reveal the truth about the past, to give voice to victims of injustice and violence, and to provide reparation and rehabilitation for those victims. Thus, to put the South African experience in perspective, Asmal surveys the modern international quest for peace in response to violence and human rights violations, transitional justice, and the particular aspects of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to new social and political realities.


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