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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 86

12:07Sadly there are many graves still to be dug up in the next few weeks. When one looks at the tears of the family and friends gathered around these graves one cannot help but feel anger at those responsible for the killings. The Truth Commission is asking all of us to forgive these people. It would have been so much easier to forgive someone if he showed remorse, although that is not a precondition for amnesty.Full Transcript and References
12:34In families and among friends conflicts are resolved and emotional wounds are healed when the wrongdoer admits their wrong and says sorry. The Truth Commission’s mandate is to look into South Africa’s recent violent history so that the terrible wounds of the past can be healed, but the Act guiding the TRC does not ask the perpetrators of murder and torture express remorse for what they have done. To get amnesty you don’t have to be sorry. No one has reminded us more sharply of that than Clive Derby-Lewis when he applied last year for amnesty for the murder of Chris Hani.Full Transcript
13:14Have you apologized about wasting a valuable life that may have paid a valuable contribution to the people of South Africa mister Derby-Lewis? // Mister Chairman, with respect, may I ask is this a condition and is this something over which the Committee should then be subjected to evidence? My impression was that an apology was not necessary and not part of the whole function of this Committee. // Well, mister Bizos the Act does not require an applicant to apologise for what he did, he’s required to make a full disclosure of what he did. // I’m not asking this as a question of law I am asking to whether this person that is before you has ever expressed regret for killing a person who could have made a valuable contribution to the political life of this country or not. // Mister Chairman, no, how can I ever apologise for an act of war? War is war. I haven’t heard the ANC apologizing, the perpetrators of these deeds apologizing for killing people in pubs and blowing them up in ...moreFull Transcript and References
14:38Mister Derby-Lewis was wrong. Over the past two year we have heard many like him justifying the terrible acts they committed, but we have also heard many apologies including from the ANC. Full Transcript
14:53The African National Congress unreservedly apologises to all civilians who lost their lives whether in cross fire or any other circumstance. Full Transcript and References
15:04I and many other figures in our party have already publicly apologized for the pain and suffering caused by former policies of the National Party. This was accepted and publicly acknowledged by the Chairperson of the Commission, Archbishop Tutu. I reiterate these apologies today.Full Transcript and References
15:27I am now more than ever convinced that apartheid was a terrible mistake that blighted our land. South Africans did not listen to the laughing and the crying of each other. I’m sorry that I have been so hard of hearing for such a long time. Full Transcript and References
15:44I am now very sorry for these victims, for the family of the victims, because after all they did not fight the war.Full Transcript
15:55Are you going to apologise to the people who died in jail, who died in Lesotho, who died in … // No, I’m praying for them. Full Transcript
16:02The PAC is proud to have played its role in this historic task of overthrowing white domination in all its manifestations. We make no apologies. Full Transcript
16:13When I look closely at what I did I realize that it was bad. I took part in killing someone that we could have used to achieve our own aims.Full Transcript and References
16:32I know that the question on everybody’s lips is whether I’m going to say that I’m sorry for what happened on that day. I feel that I am not personally to blame for what happened on that day.Full Transcript and References
16:46From my point of view and for the soldiers of the Ciskei Defence Force I can speak. I say we are sorry. I say the burden of the Bisho massacre will be on our shoulders for the rest of our lives. Full Transcript and References
17:00‘Remorse: Great sorrow and a feeling of guilt for having done wrong.’ // Whether they are sorry or not sorry remorse is clearly very much on the minds of perpetrators. Full Transcript
17:07It is a retraumatisation of a victim when perpetrators don’t speak the truth and when perpetrators speak the truth sincerely, but not only speak the truth but demonstrate a sense of guilt, a sense of remorse, it is respecting the victim’s pain. I guess that this is why the victims often are disarmed by the sincerity of the perpetrator and feel ready to forgive the perpetrator.Full Transcript
17:42‘Forgive: To say or feel that one is no longer angry with someone or about something’ // If remorse plays an important role in reconciliation, should it have been a prerequisite for amnesty? Full Transcript
17:49When I came onto the Commission one of the things that shocked us was the fact that there is no requirement in the Act for the applicant to express remorse. It is not a requirement and we were bald over actually and some people had almost a traumatic experience. Full Transcript
18:18I think that it is unfortunate that remorse is not a prerequisite for amnesty because it makes it empty, but on the other hand I think that it would have been difficult to legislate remorse. It’s difficult to legislate something that people have to feel, to legislate conscience because in a way if you say that people have to be remorseful then you are implying that we are forcing you to feel in this way. Full Transcript
18:53If you put a gun to somebody’s head and they repent you have two problems. The first is you have no way of knowing if this is true. And I would rather have somebody who does not repent and says so, than somebody who lies saying they repent in order to gain amnesty, because then you begin to bring deceptions into it from the very start. It’s very, very dangerous. Full Transcript
19:20It’s always hard to judge just how genuine an apology is, but if we ask for remorse say the commentators we can’t always be sure that what we get is the real thing.Full Transcript
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