South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Video Interviews

"For many of them, it was the first time they had told the story at all ..., even to family ..."
Video interview segment with Maria MacDiarmid (Mary) Burton [2:08]
May 25, 2005
"He stood up, and years of pent-up rage and frustration just poured out of him."
Video interview segment with Maria MacDiarmid (Mary) Burton [3:58]
May 25, 2005
"Until we've got the economy right, we're not going to be able to say that we've got reconciliation."
Video interview segment with Maria MacDiarmid (Mary) Burton [2:15]
May 25, 2005
"At the middle of the night this petrol bomb was thrown into the house; it caught fire."
Video interview segment with Obed Bapela [4:23]
May 15, 2006
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Memory, and Archives in South Africa
Video interview segment with Verne Harris [58.49]
March 29, 2006

Images

Political Art: "Stop Apartheid Killings, Their Struggle Continues"
By South African Students Press Union (SASPU) National 1985

Summary

Created by the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was part of the political compromises made during the negotiations that ended apartheid. The TRC was charged with investigating politically motivated gross human rights violations committed between 1960 and 1994. The intent was to prevent such atrocities from reoccurring and to begin to heal a divided nation scarred by past conflicts. South Africa’s TRC was the first truth commission to offer amnesty to individuals who fully disclosed in public their involvement in crimes that were deemed to be politically motivated. In doing so, the democratic government embraced the legal principle of “restorative justice” instead of the “retributive justice” embodied by a Nuremberg-style trial.

Web Documents

Testimony: "Testimony by Colin deSouza and Dorothy deSouza before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the University of the Western Cape"
By Desouza,C.
[more info]
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Testimony: "Testimony by Obed Bapela before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Human Rights Violations Committee in Alexandra"

[more info]
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Speech: "Statement by President Nelson Mandela on Receiving the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Pretoria"
By Nelson Mandela
[more info]
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Resource: South Africa: Truth and Reconciliation
By Neal Conan [more info]
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Recommended Websites

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
[more info]
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Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Final Report Volumes One - Five, Forward to Volumes Six and Seven, and Executive Summary (Guide to Contents)
[more info]
[Go to source directly and leave this site] external link

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission Videotape Collection
[more info]
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Traces of Truth: Documents Relating to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
[more info]
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Suggested Reading

Unfinished Business, South Africa, Apartheid and Truth
By Terry Bell and Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza
[more info]

A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness
By Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
[more info]

Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
By Antjie Krog
[more info]

Commissioning the Past: Understanding South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
By Deborah Posel
[more info]


AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH