17 August 2017

South Africa: Today's Inhumanity No Different From That of Yesteryear

opinion

The conversation around reconciliation and justice often treats black and white South Africans as equally culpable for the atrocities that occurred under apartheid by imputing a false blameworthiness on all South Africans in order to counter the guilt that white individuals have to deal with for their role, whether in a blatant or incipient form. We often pretend that apartheid was a type of civil war between two nations who dominated each other, back and forth, in equal measure.

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (also known as the TRC) was set up by the Government of National Unity in 1995 to help all South Africans to deal with the effects of what happened under apartheid. The commission provided for the investigation of as complete a picture as possible of the real nature, causes and extent of the gross human rights violations which were committed against the oppressed of South Africa from the 1 March 1960 until the time the commission was established in 1996.

This presents us with a presumption that human rights violations against black individuals are a thing of the past, and are confined only to this time in our history. The current conditions many people...

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