From the onset, declared in the constitution, amnesty for past atrocities was proscribed to all parties of South Africa’s Apartheid era conflicts. Initially, it was commonly represented that amnesty was granted for the crimes of the Boer. Men of all colors lost their hands, their lives, or bore indefinite detention, prison sentences or fire-bombings.
Yes, it is true that the state system of apartheid was an injustice. Anyone who did not recognize it long ago, realizes it now. Many whites might long for standard of living they once enjoyed, but all of us now know the great moral cost it inflicted.
It’s “a new beginning…not about skin color, culture, or language, but about people.” The international press would do well to recognize that, and not characterize the Afrikaner as the stereotypical villain. There are villains enough on all sides, regardless of color.
Amnesty, it turns out, has come to shield the new government from their crimes against humanity. The average individual did not engage in criminality. That was the doing of our government, and one set of tyrants has been traded for another.
Reconciliation will happen in the future, but not now. The wounds are too fresh. The villains have negotiated a compromise, and given themselves immunity from their actions. They will rule for another generation, and then maybe the tree will be cleansed from root to branch.
Image source & Additional TRC coverage: http://www.sthp.saha.org.za/memorial/articles/the_truth_and_reconciliation_commission.htm