A decade later, however, South Africa seems in danger of forgetting the work of the TRC. Most South Africans have not seen the findings and recommendations of the Commission. Little has been done to build on the ideals that underpinned the TRC’s initial establishment and a persistent lack of political will and resolve to follow up on the recommendations made in the TRC Report in relation to reparations, prosecutions, on-going truth recovery and the accessibility of the TRC archive prevails.
To mark Human Rights Month in South Africa this year, the South African History Archive (SAHA), in conjunction with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), is launching this website on the work of the TRC, centring on the 87-part ‘Truth Commission Special Report’ television series, last broadcast 15 years ago.
Previously unavailable to most South Africans, the weekly television series has now been brought out of the archives, digitised and repackaged by SAHA, in conjunction with the SABC, to make the work of the TRC more universally accessible and to support on-going transitional justice and reconciliation work in South Africa.
All episodes of the television series have been catalogued, transcribed, indexed and linked to relevant sections of the official TRC Final Report, transcripts from TRC hearings, amnesty decisions, submissions made to the TRC and other related resources, to form a seamless viewable and searchable resource.
This interactive tool enables users to revisit and reconsider the work of the TRC, particularly the multiple public hearings that had been intended as a mechanism for promoting national healing, the creation of new public histories, and the guarding against amnesia. To consider, 10 years after the TRC report and 15 years since the series was last broadcast, what progress has been made in the country’s difficult journey to reconciliation?