Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: The Fundamental Documents
The world remains fascinated by the South African political transition, of which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was an integral part. For nations wracked by internal division and conflict, the South African case is particularly intriguing given that the country averted a predicted bloodbath, despite being divided by 300 years of colonialism and nearly 50 years of statutory apartheid.
In South Africa, the TRC process continues to be evaluated – both critically and with a view to augmenting the process of national reconciliation and nation building. In turn, the documentation produced by the Commission is being closely scrutinised, both for how it might add to the truth discovered by the TRC and as a way of understanding how and how well the Commission’s recommendations have been implemented in the 10 years since its first hearings in 1996.
This publication forms part of a multi-pronged initiative by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation to make TRC materials available to various sectors of society. This volume, designed and edited by Erik Doxtader and Philippe-Joseph Salazar, is an important contribution to this endeavour. It is a companion to the volume entitled South African Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa – Ten Years On. The documents also augment an interactive DVD containing selected material from the TRC that is being produced for use in the nation’s schools.
This volume provides easy access to documents that reveal some of the historical antecedents and roots of the Commission, along with texts that detail key elements and moments of TRC’s work and which address responses by government and the public sector to the Commission’s efforts. The Institute is extremely grateful to the editors for the thoughtful and meticulous manner in which they have collected and edited this work. The volume is a resource for those wishing to understand the TRC and enter into the debate over the Commission’s continuing role in the ongoing South African transition.