By: James L. Gibson, Helen Macdonald
Date of publication: 2001
Truth – Yes, Reconciliation – Maybe: South Africans Judge the Truth and Reconciliation Process
Despite widespread domestic and international media coverage of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, little is known about how ordinary South Africans react to and judge the truth and reconciliation process. Based on a recently conducted nationally representative survey of ordinary people1, this report examines the views of South Africans toward the Commission and its work (including amnesty and victim compensation), as well as peoples’ understandings of the country’s apartheid past and attitudes toward reconciliation. Since racial differences in such attitudes are pervasive, we report many of our findings broken down by the four major racial groups in the country. Our principal findings are as follows.