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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa: 'settling accounts' or 'burying the hatchet'?
Author:Pienaar, Alec
Periodical:Annual conference - African Society of International and Comparative Law
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:offences against human rights
commissions of inquiry
Abstract:The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa has been brought into being by the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act which was made law in July 1995. The Act is one of the products of the negotiated transition to full democracy in the country. This provided that to advance the interests of reconciliation between the people of South Africa and the reconstruction of its society, amnesty would be granted in respect of acts associated with political objectives that were committed in the course of the conflicts of the past. Following the example of Chile, the spirit of South Africa's Truth Commission is forgiveness, not punishment or vengeance. This article examines the inspiration for the Truth Commission, its structure, the incorporation of the so-called Norgaard principles, and examples from other countries. It concludes that the Commission's mandate and powers have been carefully structured, and that it will have the necessary resources at its disposal to conduct its work. Ref.