TRC is “unfinished business”

Human Rights Day this year marks exactly 10 years since the final TRC recommendations were handed over to then-President Thabo Mbeki.

Civil society says there is a significant amount of unfinished business relating to these recommendations with issues like reparations, compensation, and prosecutions needing to be addressed.

The TRC gripped the nation, called a crying commission by some, but the man at the helm of the process was confident about its outcomes.

“It’s been incredible. There are two impressions. One: how could we ever be so ghastly? The depth of depravity takes your breath away. That’s the one side. The other side is almost exhilarating – that people, who have suffered so much as these, should have the capacity to forgive …and the dignity that is being affirmed, says former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Very few of the Apartheid Government’s top brass gave unequivocal apologies, but at least some were brave enough.

One of the then top brass, Leon Wessels says:  “In many respects I believe I did want to know. In my own way I had suspicions of things that caused discomfort in official circles but because I did not have the facts to substantiate my suspicions or I had lacked the courage to shout from the rooftops. I have to confess that I only whispered in the corridors. That I believe is the accusation that people many level at many of us that has not been levelled. We simply did not and I did not confront the reports of injustices head-on. But the question is being asked whether that was enough, after all, it could not undo the past.