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Telling Sacred Stories Eersterust and the Forced Removals of the 1960S

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has introduced a process in South Africa in which healing became possible through storytelling. The Research Institute for Theology and Religion (University of South Africa) has taken up the challenge of extending this process to people who, for a variety of reasons, did not have the chance to tell their stories to this commission. This introduces a new era in oral history research in South Africa in which healing, that is discontinuity, and not truth or the establishment of a continuous tradition, is the aim of research on and through storytelling. Also, the present government, by withdrawing from moral legislation, now allows for religious communities to assist civil society in the formation of a social ethos. Consequently, the aim of oral history research for the RITR has shifted from establishing the liberational and interventionary moment in storytelling to that of focusing on its religious, healing and moral subtext. This article deals exclusively with the stories of coloured people in Eersterust, a town just outside Pretoria, which focus on the forced removals of the 1960s.

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute for Theology and Religion University of South Africa P O Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa


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