The Apartheid Of South Africa 's Apartheid System Became A National Memory

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The concept of amnesty is one of the main reasons the TRC has been widely criticized. However, the people involved in the formation of the TRC believed that the amnesty provision was the key-negotiating factor and without it a peaceful settlement would not have been possible. In addition, the TRC asked for anyone involved in gross human rights violations which included “the killing, abduction, torture or severe ill-treatment of any person,” to step forward and confess. Through the process of truth finding the true nature of South Africa’s apartheid system became a national memory. As a result, it was no longer possible for anyone in South Africa to pretend that the abuses perpetrated under apartheid did not happen. In almost all of the studies on truth commissions, the importance of hearing the truth is described as critical to the country’s ability to move forward. It is noted that reconciliation is impossible if a society wants to remain ignorant about its past. According to Hamber, “when countries are attempting to overcome a violent past, it is better to deal with the past through investigations, truth recovery, justice, and support for victims and survivors of violence than to ignore it.” Furthermore, all the literature on reconciliation says that if the truth is ignored it can breed resentment and create violence. In addition, the power of telling the truth allows victims to gain back the psychological control the perpetrators held over them. As Hamber notes,

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