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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A state of denial: white South Africans' attitudes to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Authors:Theissen, GunnarISNI
Hamber, BrandonISNI
Periodical:Indicator South Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
human rights
commissions of inquiry
Abstract:The assumption of responsibility by all parties involved is essential to the reconciliation process in South Africa. This has proved a difficult task, however. In May 1996, shortly after the first public hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) investigated the extent to which white South Africans have embraced the reconciliation process and acknowledged their role in the apartheid system. The CSVR conducted a random nationwide telephone survey of 124 white South Africans, assessing their views on the apartheid system, the TRC, and the social and political changes that had taken place since April 1994. The survey suggests that the majority of white South Africans were unconvinced that they played a role in apartheid abuses, and that a significant number of those surveyed believed that the TRC was 'an ANC-inspired witch-hunt to discredit its enemies'. One of the most disturbing findings of the survey was that the general human rights awareness had remained low, despite the TRC. Bibliogr.