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Dealing With The Legacy Of The Past— Transitional Justice In South Africa

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Chapter Summary

The apartheid conflict extended to the South African protectorate of South-West Africa, now known as Namibia. Other neighbouring countries also suffered from what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) described as a 'reign of terror and destruction' in that South Africa either waged war on unwanted governments, supported rebel movements to overthrow such governments or periodically attacked the African National Congress (ANC) abroad. The heralded a period of transitional justice, demanding that the legacy of apartheid-human rights violations and crimes-would not be ignored. The TRC found that the state and its security agencies accounted for the majority of gross human rights violations. Considering the scale of human rights violations in the period of South Africa's history, which is relevant for TRC's inquiries, the number of amnesty applications is considered rather low. Without concomitant criminal trials, the number of amnesty applications for apartheid-state sponsored crimes would, thus, have been significantly lower.

Keywords: African National Congress (ANC); apartheid conflict; criminal trials; human rights violations; transitional justice; truth and reconciliation commission (TRC)



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