Commissioning the past

Understanding South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Editor(s): ,
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Dimensions and Pages: 213 x 142mm, 264pp
  • EAN: 9781868143580
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 290.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 29.95

The ‘South African’ model is inspiring truth commissions in a number of countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. In this book some critical questions concerning the lesson of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission are discussed in depth. It is a work which all students of  truth and reconciliation commissions will find invaluable — Richard Goldstone, Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the twenty first of its kind. It was more ambitious in the scope of its enquiry, more transparent in the nature of its proceedings, and more highly charged, symbolically, than any that preceded it. Its public hearings of testimony from victims and perpetrators, drenched with emotion and drama, are what most people remember when they recall the TRC. Yet at the same time, there were parallel processes of documentation, data analysis, quasi-judicial shifting of evidence and writing up the results.


Colin Bundy is Director and Principal at the School of Oriental and African studies of the University of London.

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