Human Rights Violation In South Africa

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In the world’s history of human rights violations, racism and hardship South Africa has obtained a prominent place. Until 1994 the apartheid system was a model of humiliation and degradation that flowed from toxic politics of racialized elimination (Posel, 2008). Nelson Mandela, who had just been freed from a twenty-seven years imprisonment, decided to bring the apartheid era to a peaceful end. In order to achieve this end it was important to find a way on how the new government should deal with the events and consequences that had flowed from the apartheid period. Therefor in July 1995 the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was founded, after mutual agreement between the National Party and the African National Congress…show more content…
South Africans that could learn to understand the nature of the violence during the apartheid era, and the reasons for those actions, could also learn how to live together and tolerate each other during the difficult democratic transition that awaited them (Gibson & Gouws, 1999). This literature study will therefor address the following research question: “To what extend are the survivors that participated in the TRC process satisfied with the different forms of justice and reparation granted by the TRC?” In order to answer this question I will start by looking into the formation of the TRC and what contributed to its success. In the second part of this essay I will elaborate on points of criticism made during the last two decades concerning the TRC by different researchers. In the final and most important part I will investigate the different forms of justice and reparation granted by the TRC and survivors satisfaction with the TRC process. There will also be a focus on the link between the TRC and matters of psychological distress and healing among survivors of the apartheid era…show more content…
The TRC in South Africa was the twenty-first in the 1970’s sequence and offered constitution making and transitional justice in the developing world (Gibson, 2006). The truth commissions have been set out to collect and present public histories and contribute to a country’s “nation building” (Gibson, 2006). In order to achieve this task, the TRC consisted of three separate committees: the Committee on Human Rights Violations, the Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation and the Amnesty Committee. The first committee provided public hearings where civilians could tell the truth, reveal their stories and testify about past violations and abuses. The second committee created and recommended certain policies and that the government could use in regards to reparations for the survivors of past violations. The third and final committee considered applications regarding the granting of amnesty to those who were guilty of committing gross human rights violations during the apartheid struggle (Gibson, 2006). The last committee, the granting of amnesty, and the first committee, the revelation of the truth, were often seen as the biggest strenght for the TRC and that these two committees contributed most to the future of the developing country (Gibson, 2006). One of the greatest contributions to the success of the TRC was the fact that for the first time in the history of South Africa, someone offered a voice the survivors –
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