OPINION / 1 DECEMBER
2018, 4:45PM / PUMLA GOBODO-MADIKIZELA
It’s 20 years since the submission of the report of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which was a court-like restorative justice body that sought to reveal human rights abuses under apartheid. When Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who chaired the TRC process, handed over the report to then President Nelson Mandela in October 1998, he was handing over more than a physical archive of memory of the past.
Tutu aptly called the TRC “the third way”. It lifted the veil of lies perpetuated under apartheid, offering victims, perpetrators and “implicated others”. To borrow American academic Michael Rothberg’s term, it was a horizon moment pregnant with possibility that oriented the country toward a hopeful (if unpredictable) future.