The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) became an integral and restorative component in the advent of democracy in South Africa. Its role was primarily to uncover human rights abuses during the Apartheid era, through public hearings. The lack of racial harmony in the country between 1960 and 1994, alongside the human right abuses by both the Apartheid government and the forces aligned against it led to creation of the TRC. The first democratically elected government with Nelson Mandela at its head believed that the truth of what had occurred being told would lead to healing and a national catharsis. To this end in 1995 a commission inquiry based in Cape Town (known as The Truth and Reconciliation Commission or TRC) was created. Mandela then appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu as chair for the commission. The commission was tasked to investigate all apartheid-related crimes with the objective of mending hitherto unbridgeable racial disparities. It further promoted reconciliation and forgiveness among perpetrators and victims of apartheid by the full disclosure of truth. On receiving the TRC reports in 1998 Mandela commended the TRC and proclaimed: “I therefore take this opportunity to say that I accept the report as it is, with all its imperfections, as an aid that the TRC has given to us to help reconcile and build our nation.” Click here for Mandela’s statement on receiving the report of the TRC Read more about The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

South African History Online, ‘His role in the Truth& Reconciliation Commission’,From:South African History Online,[online], Available at:,[Accessed: 16 July 2014]|Nelson Mandela (1998), Speech by Nelson Mandela , President of the Republic of South Africa on receiving TRC Report in Pretoria on 29 October, From:African National Congress, [online], Available at:,[Accessed: 16 July 2014]|Apartheid Museum,  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),From:Apartheid Museum,[online], Available at:  [Accessed: 16 July 2014]