The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in the 1990s. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.
The TRC created a framework for understanding truth and the multiplicity of understanding. They created a four-tiered understanding of truth:
- Forensic Truth
- Personal Truth
- Social Truth
- Reconciliatory Truth
What you’ll find
In their final report, the commission outlined how these four truths interact. This excerpt from the TRC Report – Four Truths captures that portion of the report. Read the full report available at justice.gov.za.