A Grain of Truth

Originally published in May 2004screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-21-01-29

A concept of reconciliation in South Africa is an intrinsic one that needs to involve more than the transformation of the political landscape. Applying Montville’s conditions for reconciliation it becomes comprehensible that an understanding of the “other” as well as the “self” must be one step of a “mutual re­humanisation” and, thus, a re­discovery of ethnic identities. With its public hearings the TRC aims at merging values of both cultures within the country but by doing so it involuntarily invokes psychological re­ victimisation and re­perpetratorisation, the restriction of individual rights for “national unity and reconciliation”, as well as a culture of guilt.

Analysing the importance of truth and highlighting indigenous ways of reconciliation, however, can lead to the inclusion of white and non­white ethnic culture to a new South African identity, the emphasis of the role of community and the restoration of a social equilibrium, and further establish an outlook into a common future.