HUMAN RIGHTS & JUSTICE - POLITICS

Mandela’s real offer

The documentary Long Night’s Journey Into Day reveals a South Africa trying to forge a lasting peace after 40 years of government by the most notorious system of racial segregation since Nazi Germany. The documentary studies South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up by the post-apartheid, democratic government to consider amnesty for perpetrators of crimes committed under apartheid’s reign.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

The TRC, the first of the nineteen held internationally to stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa. Despite some flaws, it is generally thought to have been successful. Above all, the TRC provided an opportunity for ordinary South Africans to take the centre stage, to share their stories of suffering and sacrifice.

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Important aspects

Desmond Tutu

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