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Suggesting reconciliation at the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) took place under unique circumstances and in a very particular historical context. This article will explore how such a specific kind of reality gave rise to a specific kind of discourse, a so-called ‘reconciliation discourse’. On the one hand, this discourse offered the apartheid victims a lot of opportunities regarding linguistic expression. On the other hand, though, this discourse was also regimented and limited to a certain extent. By means of fragments from the TRC victim testimonies, this article will deal with one aspect of this linguistic manipulation, namely the introduction of the concept of reconciliation. In the first part of the article, I will explain which linguistic methods were used during the TRC hearings in order to emphasize the notion of reconciliation in the narratives of the testifying victims. In doing so, a lot of attention will be paid to the concrete interaction between the testifiers and the TRC commissioners. In a second part, I will try to investigate why the construction of this specific reconciliation discourse was necessary in the South African context. We will see that, amongst others, also political considerations played a role in the control exercised over the discourse of the TRC victims. In this way, we will understand that the reconciliation discourse of the Commission was a reflection of a very ambiguous social attitude: this discourse had to reveal as much as possible about the apartheid past – and this in a manner as spontaneous, as transparent and as open as possible -, but it also had to be adapted to certain socio-political needs. This will tell us that also a quasi-judicial institution such as the TRC involves an inevitable interplay between language on the one hand and ideology and society on the other.

In: Afrika Focus

Whether post-conflict reconciliation programmes are able to change hostile behaviours is not known. This study sought to assess the influence of reconciliation programmes on the reconciliation attitudes of war-affected adolescents in two communities in Northern Uganda. Four hundred and forty five adolescents within two communities, one with and the other without interventions were assessed for exposure to war-related and daily stressors and place of residence using hierarchical regression analysis to predict reconciliation attitudes. Adolescents in the non-intervention community recorded more positive and also more negative reconciliation attitudes; exposure to daily and war-related stressors was more positively associated with increasing reconciliation attitudes among adolescents in the non-intervention than those in the intervention community. Overall the programmes recorded limited impact on reconciliation attitudes, perhaps due to the pervasive adverse social situation of the people. Conclusion: there is a need for multi-pronged, collaborative programme efforts targeting holistic recovery programmes with focus on changing negative reconciliation attitudes.

In: Afrika Focus

moment ago about how radical the concept of necro-being really is. In terms of the concept of reparations, you said that there can be no reparations. I wonder then, how do you understand reconciliation? This concept that has been bandied about so much. Is it for you a non-possibility or is it a

In: African Somaesthetics: Cultures, Feminisms, Politics

the period immediately after the end of the civil conflict that followed the closely contested presidential and parliamentary elections of December 2007. Using a framework derived from political psychology and political communication can assist in identifying the process of reconciliation

In: African and Asian Studies

Created and maintained by the Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division , and part of the LC’s ‘Portals to the World’, this guide provides a selected sampling of online information resources dealing with reconciliation processes in African nations. The ‘Portals to the World’ Web project

In: African Studies Companion Online
Author: James C.F. Wang

critical to the review, but I thought might help serve to support additional translations of this sort. BOOK REVIEWS Robert G. Sutter, China-Watch: Toward Sino-American Reconciliation. The Johns Hop- kins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1978, 155 pp. $10.95. The central thesis of this book is that

In: Journal of Asian and African Studies

engineers, medical teams and logisticians in earlier operations, such as the UN’s Advance Mission in Cambodia between October 1991 and March 1992. China’s presence followed its participation in the Paris Peace Accords for Cambodia and diplomatic support for a peaceful transition and reconciliation

In: The African Review
Author: Obediah Dodo

involves post-coup Zimbabwe; questions of justice and reconciliation between Zanu PF factions and inter-ethnic as well as, more generally, state policies after the take-over. An instrumentalist theory that accentuates the history of factionalism and elite organisation dominates scholarship on the coup

In: The African Review

and reconciliation. Greenstein (2018: 13) concurs that the policy focus during Mandela’s presidency was more on reconciliation and national building than on building a democratic South African developmental state. In 1996 Mandela introduced the Growth, Employment and Redistribution ( GEAR ) as a non

In: The African Review

reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions. Norwegian Nobel Committee, 2019: 1 The award in this regard, illustrates some recognition of the strategic goal of peacebuilding made by Abiy Ahmed Ali as an effort to help prevent the two countries from sliding back into violent

In: The African Review