The search for reconciliation
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle
Posted: November 11th, 2006
South Africa's acclaimed Truth and Reconciliation Commission...was an ambitious effort to provide a forum to uncover the truth about apartheid-era abuses -- as well as to promote reconciliation between opposing factions in the fight to end racial rule. Its terms were simple: Tell the truth about political acts of violence you committed -- on either side of the struggle -- and you would receive amnesty. Tell only part of the truth -- or fail to testify altogether -- and you would be liable for criminal prosecution. The commission heard from 10,000 victims of apartheid rule, as well as victims of abuses by anti-apartheid forces. The Truth Commission, now widely viewed as a model for other countries attempting to transcend their divided pasts, granted amnesty to about 1,000 of the more than 7,000 perpetrators who applied for it. It recommended that 300 people face prosecution for failing to tell the complete truth, or failing to testify at all. Testimony at multiple, often searing, hearings provided an incontrovertible, although not necessarily complete, record of abuses committed in the name of apartheid. As a result, it will be difficult for anyone, both now and in future generations, to deny apartheid's brutality and the lengths agents of the white minority government went to perpetuate it. The commission...can certainly claim to have played a part in keeping the peace.
Note: This article is included as a growing number of people in the 9/11 movement feel that a truth and reconciliation commission is what is needed to bring out the truth of what happened on that fateful day.