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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 87

41:30There have been several potential crises and many moments where the credibility, even the very existence, of the Truth Commission was at threat. More often than not the priest to the nation, Chairperson of the Truth Commission, Desmond Tutu diffused these moments. Other prominent citizens could probably have done his job too but the Archbishop has given the Truth Commission that little extra in compassion and credibility. I spoke to Bishop Tutu earlier in the week about the last two years of Truth and Reconciliation. He also had an important message for the victims of the past. Full Transcript
42:09There must be thousands of victims out there who have given their statements and who have given their testimony who want to know what the Truth Commission has in store for them. Would you talk to them for us? // Thank you. I’m grateful to TRC Special Report for this opportunity they are giving us in their last programme to address those of you, especially the victims and survivors, who have come to the Commission. We want to thank all of you who have come forward to make statements about your experiences and those of others in your community. Thank you for telling your story so that the country could know what happened in the past, so that the wounds might be healed. You have paid a very heavy price for our freedom and for the peaceful transition; may we never devalue that freedom. As well as thanking you, I want to use this opportunity to explain what will be happening in the closing months of the TRC for victims and survivors who have come to the Commission. Firstly, very soon ...moreFull Transcript
49:19‘On the refusal of judges to appear before the TRC’ // We suffer still in South Africa from a view that judges somehow, just because they have become judges, are set on a pedestal and beyond criticism. I can quite understand the importance of their independence, but they speak as if they are not first of all human beings, human beings who are formed by the society in which they live. But there are people who came out of homes that regarded black people as not equal to white people. Now, a person coming out of that situation, going to a church that said apartheid was right, going to schools that merely reinforced those views. It would be very very odd that such a person would suddenly be totally uninfluenced by the milieu from which he came and one would have hoped that we could have had a judiciary that said ”we are accountable, I mean despite our independence,” and that doesn’t affect their independence. And that would have been something that would have made people feel ...moreFull Transcript
51:57‘On the granting of amnesty to the 37 ANC leaders’ // Unfortunately politicians will look for anything that seems to give them some sort of mileage and I am sad actually to discover that some people whom I had thought did have integrity actually haven’t. I mean, they actually tell untruths. Because the nationalist party knows that the TRC had its case ready on Tuesday of that particular week and we have it on the word of someone that they actually got in touch with the State Attorney to say we hear that you’re about to serve papers and we would like to join your action. Now, one has been very quiet actually. Now they claim that our case was prepared hurriedly. They know it’s nonsense. I mean if you look at the annexures that you have to prepare, you can’t prepare those hurriedly. We could have served the papers on Tuesday, but we were actually trying to find a way where we would deal with the matter expeditiously and this would have been by getting first of all the matter ...moreFull Transcript
54:25Let’s go to the other side of the Commission, the reconciliation side. What will you do in your final report which was due to come out at the end of July, how could in your view the final report contribute to that leg of the TRC? // It is crucial for people to understand what reconciliation is. See, many people came to think of it as being chummy-chummy, as not being confrontational. Not saying this is the truth, this is a lie; that you have to make a choice. I mean to seek to have reconciliation on the basis of a lie is to look for a cheap, a spurious reconciliation. And therefore people mustn’t think that the report is going to be one that is soft peddling on lies, on awfulnesses. But we are going to try and understand why people took particular positions. Just as an example, not all of us would accept that every option was exhausted before people decided that the only way out was the armed struggle. And those would be points of view that are canvassed in the report. And ...moreFull Transcript
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