Apartheid crimes: Justice delayed; justice denied
24 years after the TRC was founded, some victims’ families are still waiting for closure. Did the process sacrifice justice and truth for reconciliation?
The Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established 24 years ago by parliament, following a historic compromise in 1993, which also included an amnesty provision written into SA’s interim constitution. Without the amnesty, it is unlikely that the apartheid government would have given up power. The amnesty deal was part of a series of measures that set SA on the path to constitutional democracy.
At the time, however, the amnesty provision was criticised for promoting impunity for perpetrators of apartheid crimes by providing immunity from prosecutions and precluding any claim for damages.