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South Africa
Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (1995 to 1998)

Final Report: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

How the Commission was created: Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, Office of the President, No. 1111, Act 95-34, 26 July 1995

Mandate of TRC: To document past human rights violations, to propose measures or reparation and prevention

Type of Human Rights Abuses Investigated: Covered most prevalent types of abuses

Period Investigated: 1960 to 1994

Geographic Area Investigated: Covered nearly all regions/no KwaZulu Nathal

Legal powers of investigation: Subpoena powers/judicial powers/amnesty

Access to state-military files and other sources of info: Full access mandated Number & Nationality of commissioners: Seventeen all nationals

Budget: $38,000,000 USD

Perpetrators of the conflict: State armed forces, death squads, members of the armed resistance and UDF/ANC to a lesser (and less systematic) extent

Number of victims: 21,000 victims Number of cases presented to Commission: 38,000 incidents presented

Number of public hearings: 80 public hearings, held in every district that had more than 200 participants.

Naming names: Yes

Reparations offered: Proposal of reparations. Provided both individual and communal reparations in the form of monetary reparations or services (headstones, reburials). Many people felt reparations were inadequate.

Follow-up activities after Commission: Yes, Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee/ Amnesty Committee. Full commission to reconvene to release an addendum to its report that would incorporate the final investigations and amnesty hearings. The addendum is currently pending.

Compiled from:
Justice: The First Casualty of Truth. Brody, Reed. The Nation, 30 April 2001. 

Strategic Choices in the Design of Truth Commissions. European Centre for Common Ground & Program on Negotiation, 2002. 

Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment Interdiciplinary Discussion. Harvard Law School, 1996.

Truth Commissions Digital Collection. Jeannette Rankin Library Program & The United States Institute for Peace, 23 April 2004.

"Truth Commissions and National Reconciliation: Some Reflections on Theory and Practice." Lerche, III, Charles O. The Network of Peace and Conflict Studies: George Madison University. Vol. 7 No. 1, May 2000.  

"The Truth Commissions of South Africa and Guatemala." Hayner, Priscilla & Freeman, Mark. Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: A Handbook.  International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Asistance, 2003. 

"Truth Commissions, Transitional Justice, and Civil Society." Crocker, David A. Forthcoming in Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, eds. Truth v. Justice: The Moral Efficacy of Truth Commissions: South Africa and Beyond (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press) Forthcomming.

Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice: A Short Guide. Bronkhorst, Daan. September 2003.

Truth Commissions: An Uncertain Path? Cuevas Espinoza, Victor; Ortiz Rojas, Maria Luisa; & Rojas Baeza, Paz.Corporacion de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo & Association for the Prevention of Torture, 2002.