Cover image for A country unmasked
A country unmasked
Boraine, Alex.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xv, 466 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Subtitle on cover : Inside South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT1974.2 .B67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This is Alex Boraine's account of South Africa's acclaimed Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was set up after the collapse of the apartheid regime. The TRC had the monumental task not only of uncovering decades of systematic human rights violations, but of doing so in a way that wouldhelp a very damaged nation to reconcile and move forward.Boaraine clearly sets out the process leading to the establishment of the TRC, describes the hearings at which victims and perpetrators testified about human rights violations, and considers reactions - inclusding criticisms - to the TRC and its final report. He analyses the key features thatcontributed to the Commission's success, and gives an honest assessment of some of its mistakes. This is also a personal story, giving insight into the feelings, disappointments, and rewards that the TRC's participants experienced. This book helps to elucidate and answer the many difficlut questionsthat were crucial to South Africa's TRC , and that need to be addressed by all people who are working with societies in transition.

Author Notes

Alex Boraine was an MP for the Progressive Federal Party (1974-1986) and executive director of the Institute for a democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA) (1986-1994), and Executive Director of the Institute for Justice in Transition(1994/5), before being appointed deputy chairpersonof the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. His current work with the Open Society Foundation involves assisting other countries undergoing transition to democracy. He is a visiting Professor of Law at New York University. Boraine has received numerous awards, including the Harvard PeacePrize. He holds an MA degree from Oxford University, and a PhD from Drew University (USA). He was elected Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford University, and of the Centre for International affairs at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

1 The Road to Reconciliation: the genesis of the TRC
2 Prepparing the ground: the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Bill
3 The Commission at Work
4 Breaking the Silence: The TRC hearings
5 Collective Responsibility: political parties and institutional hearings
6 A Season of madnessP.W.Botha
7 A South African TragedyWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
8 Amnesty in Exchange for Truth: evaluating the TRC model
9 "Artificial even-handedness"?: responses to the TRC report
10 What price reconciliation: the acheivement of the TRC
11 Beyond the TRC: The South African model and the international community