This website addresses the ‘Unfinished Business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’. It is a repository of information on the victims of apartheid-era atrocities and their families’ struggle for justice, truth, and reparations. This website is also a reminder that addressing impunity and injustice is critical for any society to move forward from its past.

Victims’ families, legal scholars, journalists, and any other persons interested in following apartheid-era cases will find useful background information, resources not readily available to the public, and latest news. This website was commissioned by the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR).


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established at the end of apartheid to help South Africa transition smoothly into democracy. It was a temporary transitional justice body vested with significant quasi-judicial powers, including the power to grant conditional amnesty to perpetrators who had made a full disclosure of the facts of the case.

TRC hearings were public hearings regarding human rights violations that had taken place during the repressive apartheid era. The compact struck with the victims of apartheid-era crimes envisaged that in instances where the alleged perpetrators failed to apply for amnesty, or were not granted amnesty, justice would follow its normal course. Consequently, when the TRC handed its Final Report to then President Nelson Mandela, it also recommended several hundred cases for further investigation and prosecution.

Only a handful of these cases have seen the light of day, while others have been swept under the carpet as a result of political interference in the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The compact made with apartheid-era victims was accompanied by the promise of a comprehensive reparations policy, which though recommended by the TRC, has never been fully implemented. This has left many of the victims betrayed and traumatised.


Select a case to view its history & latest news


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