Crimes of Allegiance
This introductory chapter discusses the concept of restorative justice—a justice that seeks full accountability, with perpetrators facing the people they victimized, and working to repair the damage they inflicted. The concept is rooted in the notion of Ubuntu, which translates generally as “humaneness,” and is conveyed in the expression “a person is a person through other people.” Ubuntu seeks to redefine crime away from offenses against the state, and toward an understanding of crime as violations against other human beings and their communities. In the context of Ubuntu, restorative justice endeavors to heal all sides of a conflict, encouraging victims and perpetrators to be directly involved in resolving the conflict.
Keywords: restorative justice, perpetrators, Ubuntu, crime, conflict