SA politicians have not learnt

2017-03-02 06:00

THE 20th anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on April 15, 2016, passed without fanfare. However, Jacana Media published an excellent pocket history of the TRC written by Mary Burton, who was a commissioner.

The TRC, arising from the transition to democracy in 1994, had a specific and finite task: to probe atrocities committed during the apartheid era with the possibility of finding restorative justice rather than retribution.

Those who fully disclosed their part in human rights violations committed during past conflicts could seek amnesty.

Those who had suffered abuse or had lost family members had a right to know the truth.

Although there are many criticisms of the work of the TRC, it is generally recognised that dealing with these past brutalities was a crucial part in reaching some sort of national reconciliation. It is significant that former leader F.W. de Klerk and then president Thabo Mbeki attempted to prevent the publication of the final TRC report.

In the light of the recent brutal and totally unacceptable abuse of power at the Sona in Parliament, the record of the TRC is a salutary reminder that South African politicians have not learnt from the history of the past.

This deplorable behaviour takes us back to the draconian states of emergencies during the eighties.

Where is our hard-won democracy in all this?

It seems that one group of bloated, self-interested patriarchs, who have no regard for the rule of law, has replaced another.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?



Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Fascinating facts about dogs
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.