Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 04/Feb/2013;7(1):8-30.
Human rights and political transition in South Africa: the case of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
This article is dedicated to recounting the main initiative of Nelson Mandela’s government to manage the social resentment inherited from the segregationist regime. I conducted interviews with South African intellectuals committed to the theme of transitional justice and with key personalities who played a critical role in this process.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is presented as the primary institutional mechanism envisioned for the delicate exercise of redefining social relations inherited from the apartheid regime in South Africa. Its founders declared grandiose political intentions to the detriment of localized more palpable objectives. Thus, there was a marked disparity between the ambitious mandate and the political discourse about the commission, and its actual achievements.