Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth

By Martin Meredith; Tina Rosenberg | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

IN THE PAST quarter-century, perhaps half the world's nations have undergone a transformation from dictatorship or war to democracy or peace. All have had to struggle with the crimes of a past regime, to decide whether and how to put repressive leaders on trial, uncover the truth about patterns and individual cases of crimes, keep the guilty from continuing in powerful posts, and give victims some redress. Their dilemmas have produced some of the great political, philosophical, and moral dramas of our time.

Should Argentina attempt to try military officers who committed forced disappearances in the Dirty War if it puts the new democracy at risk? Who is qualified to decide whether people on a list of secret-police informants in the Czech Republic should lose their government posts? What is the best way to dispel the myths of victimization that Serbs cling to, before they explode into yet another war? Can Polish General Wojciech Jaruzelski be convicted of treason for his political decision to crush Solidarity by calling martial law—if he believed it prevented a Soviet invasion? Are the efforts of Rwanda's justice system to prosecute 120,000 people for genocide themselves doing injustice? Does Spain, which chose to do nothing about the crimes of General Franco, now have the right to take that choice away from Chile? The line between whitewash and witch‐ hunt, amnesty and amnesia, justice and vengeance is not always clear.

Dealing with the past is often the first test of a new government

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Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Coming to Terms - South Africa's Search for Truth *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • I - The Widows'testimony *
  • 2 - Reconstructing the Past *
  • 3 - Vlakplaas *
  • 4 - Prime Evil *
  • 5 - Chains of Command *
  • 6 - Room 619 *
  • 7 - Operation Marion *
  • 8 - In Police Custody *
  • 9 - Foreign Ventures *
  • 10 - Race Poison *
  • II - The Security Establishment *
  • 12 - The Tale of Two Presidents *
  • 13 - In the Name of Liberation *
  • 14 - The Trial of Winnie Mandela *
  • 15 - Operation Great Strom *
  • 16 - Findings *
  • 17 - In the Fullness of Time *
  • Afterword Confronting the Painful Past Tina Rosenberg *
  • Index *
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