Apartheid Museum

Unfinished business: Tutu, truth and reconciliation

The purpose of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to uncover apartheid-era human rights violations and to promote reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of apartheid.

The commission had three specific tasks:

  • To discover the causes and nature of gross violations between 1960 and 1994
  • To propose reparations and measures to help rehabilitate victims
  • To grant amnesty to those who fully disclosed politically-motivated crimes

Chaired by Desmond Tutu, the TRC identified 22 000 victims to receive reparations. But its proposals for reparation payments were never fully implemented. And although amnesty hearings revealed many new details of atrocities, the promise that those who failed to get amnesty would be prosecuted has proved empty.

Unfinished Business
(Image: © George Hallett)

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Tutu exhibition