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Beyond the TRC

Beyond the TRC

Negotiating the Aftermath of Collective Violence

(p.133) 6 Beyond the TRC
Violent Accounts
Robert N. Kraft
NYU Press

This chapter discusses South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) as a national institution for gathering truth and promoting reconciliation after decades of violent conflict. Over a span of six years following the end of apartheid, the achievements of the TRC's amnesty hearings sent several resonant messages throughout South Africa: truths about widespread human rights violations will be uncovered, secrets of illegality will be disclosed, government crimes will be illuminated, and perpetrators will be held publicly accountable for their crimes. Even with its setbacks and limitations, the TRC remains an enduring example of the potential for restorative justice on a national scale and a prototype for other national truth commissions. As such, studies on the distinctive achievements of TRC's amnesty hearings can be applied to future efforts in negotiating the aftermath of collective violence.

Keywords:   TRC, apartheid, amnesty hearings, restorative justice, collective violence

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