The democratic transition in South Africa from apartheid was built on the historic compromises made during South Africa’s negotiations, which included free and democratic elections, a power-sharing government, a new Constitution, equal rights for all, and a trade- off that included an amnesty deal for political prosecutions of past crimes in return for full disclosure aimed at ensuring a peaceful transition to democratic dispensation. This led to the setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) established by the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995 (TRC Act) to investigate politically motivated gross human rights violations perpetrated between 1960 and 1994, was one of the transitional justice mechanisms. The TRC was a quasi-judicial body designed to provide truth- recovery, promote reconciliation and make recommendations in respect of restoring the rights of victims including reparations and institutional reform to restore the rule of law. In terms of criminal accountability, the Act provided that where alleged perpetrators failed to apply for amnesty or were refused amnesty by TRC’s Amnesty Committee, the law would follow its course.
Since its inception, the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) has been involved in supporting the work of the TRC by coordinating and supporting the efforts of victims and their families seeking justice for the victims of apartheid. In particular, the FHR has been supporting investigations and prosecutions; funding and overseeing the investigation and prosecution of apartheid-era crimes; and supporting the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice in their quest for truth, reparations, and criminal accountability for human rights violations during apartheid.
As part of its efforts to revive the discussion around the “Unfinished Business of the TRC”, the FHR has launched a series of on-line webinars, which focus on various aspects of “Unfinished Business”. The planned webinars will tackle the following subjects:
Webinar 1: The Unfinished Business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Justice Delayed Justice Denied [the webinar took place on 13 August 2020, to access the recording check
Webinar 2: Did the TRC’s failure to address socio-economic rights entrench inequality in South Africa? [the webinar took place on 23 September 2020, to access the recording click here:
Webinar 3: International Convention against Apartheid – Will the crime of apartheid as a crime against humanity be ever prosecuted?
Webinar 4: South Africa should not withdraw from the International Criminal Court. How can civil society convince the government and why is it important?