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Understanding Crimes of Allegiance

Understanding Crimes of Allegiance

Patterns of Violent Influence

(p.53) 3 Understanding Crimes of Allegiance
Violent Accounts
Robert N. Kraft
NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the testimony of violent perpetrators, arguing that when perpetrators testified about personal experiences, they referenced immediate influences and discrete events, and rarely brought up more distant and general interactions in childhood and adolescence. Although these testimonies were limited, several members of the security forces independently identified a pattern of similar influences: nationalistic traditions, families with strict discipline, membership in the Afrikaans church, and so on. Thus, testimony before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) Amnesty Committee revealed that the motivations and actions of perpetrators were neither so simple that they could be summarized in a few maxims nor so complicated that they could not be identified nor categorized.

Keywords:   violent perpetrators, Amnesty Committee, TRC, perpetrators, personal experiences

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