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Was the TRC a massive failure?

Come 1994, and the TRC that followed, my expectations were high that we would finally see thousands of these morally deficient individuals who had perpetrated monstrous crimes in defence of Apartheid being publically forced to answer for their sins. It didn't happen. Without a doubt the TRC was a failure. A meagre handful of individuals took the rap while millions who were guilty of heinous crimes escaped unscathed. Time passed, and life went on in the new South Africa. Until now. To my mind Malema and the now infamous struggle song have opened a festering wound that will never be healed without all those Apartheid supporters admitting guilt, demonstrating remorse, and actively committing to restitution in some form or another. ....This letter speaks to my heart. I too have a massive Hatred Hangover. 30 mths ago

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There are two sides to every coin. Yes, many escaped the formality of the TRC, but those individuals still have to hang their heads in shame, like some of the Nazis who escaped punishment. For many of those people, their only emotional and spiritual refuge is to still maintain that they were right. BUT, what about the other side of the coin, what about all of those people responsible for the necklacing horror and other acts of barbarism. I'm sorry, but I think that just because you say that you are sorry and won't do it again, or that the situation warranted your behaviour, or that you were just following orders, or that you were just having a bad day, simply doesn't cut it. The TRC was successful in that it allowed SA as a country to go forward, and try and put our past behind us. If there had been a TRC after the Anglo Boer War, I wonder how that would have changed our country?

30 mths ago

Answers -

In a way yes it failed , but did you ever think why only Whites were challenged, not one of our goverment officials or Black Sash members were called to submit.

30 mths ago

When it comes to the TRC, I am very 2 minded. On the one hand, I think it gave 1000's of people a chance to declare their pain & helped people, communities & races forgive. How can that be a bad thing right? The other hand is best represented by that priest who said recently in the media (after another priest was murdered) that there must be justice before forgiveness. The justice portion was missing from the TRC, which has led to a new breed of "Apartheid wasn't that bad" coming to the fore from 1994 onwards. That breed is as responsible for the polarisation as JM, & part of the reason I sometimes defend JM, is because nothing is being done to curb the new right wing. & if the Visagie's & Hofmeyer's of the world have a platform to spew their shit, then I'm all for a counter balance on the left (for shit to be spewed from too). The comments on your link prove my point here. The problem with the TRC is that, it didn't go far enough in bringing the wrongdoers & victims together. They just scratched the surface of what went on during Apartheid & because of that there's a mentality that if that's all that happened in those years then Apartheid wasn't that bad. You had scapegoats taking the fall, nothing was really investigated for inconsistencies & so many people didn't trust the process enough to come forward. On balance, while there were aspects of the TRC process that were a success, it was outweighed by the areas of failure. I do agree with Bess, that if JM is to be silenced in SA, it will only happen when the right in this country are subjected to the same silence. But, as long as a blind eye is turned, JM will just grow in power.

30 mths ago

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