The Limits of Transition: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission 20 Years on

Editors: and
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a noble attempt to begin to address the continuing traumatic legacy of Apartheid. This interdisciplinary collection critiques the work of the TRC 20 years since its establishment.
Taking the paralysing political and social crises of the mid-1990s in South Africa as starting point, the book contains a collection of responses to the TRC that considers the notions of crisis, judgment and social justice. It asks whether the current political and social crises in South Africa are linked to the country’s post-apartheid transitional mechanisms, specifically, the TRC.
The fact that the material conditions of the lives of many Apartheid victims have not improved, forms a major theme of the book. Collectively, the book considers the ‘unfinished business’ of the TRC.

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Mia Swart is professor of International Law at the University of Johannesburg where she teaches the LLM course in international law. She focuses her research on the fields of transitional justice, international criminal law, and comparative constitutional law.

Karin van Marle is professor of Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria where she teaches Jurisprudence and related modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her research falls within the broad field of legal theory, legal philosophy and jurisprudence.
“This is an important book. It is important because it presumes transitional justice as ongoing, as a journey, and not as sealed or finite. Professors Swart and Van Marle have assembled a host of vivid, engaged voices. These voices examine the ‘unfinished business’ of the South African TRC. These voices – voices of optimism, voices of verve – teach us something: they teach us not to rue or regret that which is unfinished, but instead to seize upon that which is unfinished as opportunity and renewal.”
Mark A. Drumbl, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University.
List of Contributors

Part 1: Reflections

Rethinking Reconciliation and Forgiveness at the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Antjie Krog

“Meeting the Man who Organised a Bomb in My Car”
Albie Sachs

Part 2: Contributions

Jurisprudence after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – ‘Welcoming Other Ways of Being’ and a ‘Jurisprudence of Sense’
Karin van Marle

Failure to Pursue Economic Reparations has, and Will Continue to Undermine Racial Reconciliation
William Gumede

Property in Transitional Times: The Glaring Absence of Property at the trc
Elmien du Plessis

Performing and Resisting the Post- trc ‘trauma-drama’: Survivor’s Narratives of Past and Present Violence in South Africa
Kim Wale

The Moral Imperative of the trc and the Question of Collective Guilt
Mia Swart

What Did the trc Teach South Africa about Democratic Citizenship?
Hugo van der Merwe

Real Zones of Indistinction: Crisis, Exception, Norm – and the trc as Biopolitical Imperative
Jaco Barnard-Naudé

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Light of Ubuntu : A Comprehensive Appraisal
Thaddeus Metz

The Media Hearings of the trc : Lessons to Be Learnt for Transitional Justice Processes
Ylva Rodny-Gumede

Putting the J into the trc : Kenya’s Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission
Ronald C. Slye

Karin van Marle

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