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Looking Back, Reaching Forward: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa [Paperback]

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Item Number 312141  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.68" Width: 5.96" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 5, 2000
Publisher   Zed Books
ISBN  1856498204  
EAN  9781856498203  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been a defining experience in South Africa's transition to democratic and non-racial rule, and probably the most complete attempt to heal a society after the brutalities of violent government. This anthology is the first assessment of the Commission process. It reviews the national and international context in which the TRC did its work, explores the philosophical and ethical logic of the exercise, and examines the multiple purposes which the Commission set out to achieve. Intended to deepen debate within South Africa on the contested TRC process, this book illuminates the realities of South Africa today and contains powerful lessons for other countries thinking about embarking on similar exercises to establish both the truth of what happened and reconciliation between victims and oppressors. CONPart 1 The hi

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More About Charles Villa-Vicencio

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles Villa-Vicencio is former Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
W. Verwoerd is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Another loss for democracy in South Africa.  Jul 9, 2003
The aim of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission (TRC) was supposedly to reveal the atrocities committed by the apartheid government in the period 1948-1994. However according to a South African advocate, dr. Anthea Jeffreys, 99% of all the hearings did not comply to the necessary criteria to qualify as legally valid. No oaths were taken, cross examinations were highly superficial, evidence was seldom produced, and as much as 16 500 of the hearings were based on heresay and not on personally experienced human rights violations.
This is probably the reason why the crimes of apartheid were not heard inside a bona fide courtroom, for the likely chance that a court might find no support to declare apartheid as a crime against humanity, which obviously did not serve the interests of the ANC government at that time. Official government statistics during apartheid places a question mark on the extreme atrocities apparently committed by this regime. To top it off, the TRC had a survey done and discovered to their chagrin that 40% of all South Africans (black to white ratio is 8 to 1) claimed apartheid was "basically a good idea". Mr. Villa-Vicencio's findings are ultimately no more than anti-Afrikaner rantings which have become fashionable ever since Communism started ailing in the early eighties, leaving many left wingers without an ideology, which made them take to heavy anti-apartheid demonstrations to distract the attention from the problems in Eastern Europe and to find a new moral ground to justify themselves. Moreover, hardly any atrocities from British colonials were brought to trail, whilst Afrikaner atrocities were highly exaggerated in the abovementioned heresay.

This book was a disapointing read, with little relevance to the actual situation experienced by millions of South Africans of all colour.


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