Reconciliation. Truth. South Africa. Lies.

In South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission  proponents of apartheid were absolved if they admitted their crimes. Murder, rape, torture, child abuse. The “Perpetrators of violence could  give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution”. Apartheid lasted over fifty years. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee was done in two.

Meanwhile here in Europe they are still tracking down and charging “war criminals” for similar  crimes committed over fifty years ago. These European war criminals  are  offered no option to “give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution”.  If Mandela was so right should the British and Americans allow German war criminals  to admit  atrocities then  let them go?

Does the truth and reconciliation commission rid the proponents of apartheid and  it’s beneficiaries,  their well educated children,  of responsibility for crimes committed?  Is that what it was for?   Where is justice for the  majority of Black (and white)  Africans . Why have the British  not applied Truth and Reconciliation Commission  to Iraq or is it one rule for   England and America and Truth and reconciliation for everyone else?   I am one man looking for an answer. What is the truth and reconciliation commission  for?

Is the truth and reconcilation commission in place   to stop a potential  bloodbath? That’s what we were told around the world.  And yet where is the  evidence?  Other African revolutionaries  did not end apartheid colonialism in a bloodbath.  South Africans on the oppressed side of apartheid proved themselves more than dignified  long before  it was shut down.  So the question in my mind remains what and whom was the Truth and Reconciliation commission for?

7 thoughts on “Reconciliation. Truth. South Africa. Lies.

  1. Please can I just ask and query is this relevant to Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal ?
    For my personal part I agree with truth and reconciliation and personally witnessed how fundamentally hard It was on a daily basis when I travelled to Bloemfontein in 1999 with my 2 mixed race babies as a white mum to meet their black father.
    I was very popular but conversation / enquiries by white Afrikaans was to illicit I had not crossed over

  2. I think that the Truth & Reconciliation Commission was an exercise in real politik. It was not just a means to avoid the Black population wreaking vengeance and the White population bunkering and attempting a coup d’etat. It was also means of avoiding interethnic conflict between the different nationalities within South Africa. Remember that Chief Buthelezi was also implicated in the TRC. What may have been in Mandela’s mind was the murderous conflict between Mugabe and Nkomo from 1980 to 1988, only 7-8 years before the establishment of the commission. What may also have been on his mind was the fate of Patrice Lumumba at the instigation of the CIA and MI5, and the subsequent anarchic mess that still reigns in the Congo and Central Africa. In a geo-political sense, it could be seen as a means of pacifying foreign powers, like UK and USA, and ultimately of preventing foreign intervention, either through direct military action or covert secret service activity.

    • I think, in theory, the prevention of any war/conflict that is bloody is good, but I think Lemn was referring to the hypocrisy of violence prevention when Black people, globally, have been victimized and there’s a chance of retaliation. As for the Blacks in S.A. brutalizing other Blacks, I’m reading a book called the Split. It tells how African-Americans are different groups of people. I think this is relevant to blacks all over the world when it comes to self-destruction.

      Lemn is correct in his thinking. If he is not, then the prisoners in, say, Guantanemo Bay, Cuba could be offered the same opportunity. We all know this will never happen.

  3. Congo and the Belgian King Leopold II who was once the “owner” of that country came to my mind as I was reading your blog. There was also a commission established for that case, am not sure if there was anything the world have heard about what ever happened in Congo!

  4. “The question
    In my mind
    and What
    Was the Truth & Reconciliation Commission for?

    It is a pertinent question that continues to ring out. That which the African National Congress stood and fought for was largely still-born. With the death of Mandela those ideals, those principles rise up and weep, mourn. Their passing is painful.

    Who remembers the crowds under Apartheid hoi toi-ing? Dancing & singing down the roads towards armoured vehicles and batton weilding, gun-toting police-men?

    “Ordinary”, and unarmed people, joyously, triumphantly singing, dancing towards an armed mob!
    It was clear who was free and who was not, in spirit at least.

    Mandela himself said that he felt that being in the movement was often akin to being part of a celebration as well as a great struggle. And he stated that he felt that was how it Should be, a carnival you Want to join.

    Not reactive and hating but an identity of confidence, abundance and reflexiveness. In other words peoples who stayed true to who they were and celebrated their identity and collective strength despite being brutally and relentlessly subjugated and denied.

    The stark tragedy is that their Oppressors did not care at all for who they were, (despite claiming “them” to be inferior and apparently sure of this fact) and the greater tragedy is that they only relinquished this claim when they realized it could no longer be enforced. In other words they still did not care.

    Some of the individual crimes committed in the name of Apartheid were publicly exhumed during the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, collectively this process was supposed to invoke a period of collective healing, forgiveness and also prevent conflict and revenge Yet surely the greatest crime of all was not discussed, and the wrong was not righted.

    A whole people had been disenfranchised, their land stolen, their ways of life denied. Only the means of committing the crime was aired at the Commission. Meanwhile the enemy, the oppressor continued to largely perpetrate it’s crime for they held the reins of economic power, and of intellectual property, those Afrikaners who had reigned supreme under Apartheid held onto their wealth & status. Moreover, the ANC had agreed to forgo it’s principles of a Socialist society in order to become un-banned. This condition was a huge body blow not only to their identity and integrity but to the poor and disenfranchised of South Africa who needed their country back. Land, education, the right to make a life in a truly equitable society. What they got was the vote and a rapacious and broken economy.

    No wonder they booed President Zuma and mourned Mandela so vociferously.

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