This book is about the South African amnesty process. Many of the most well-known cases are investigated: the Cradock Four, the Pebco Three, the St James' Church, Heidelberg Tavern, Bisho, Boipatong, Trust Feeds and KwaMakutha massacres; the killing of Amy Biehl, Chris Hani, Steve Biko, Stanza Bopape, Fabian and Florence Ribeiro; the Motherwell, Magoo's Bar, Ellis Park Rugby Stadium, Church Street and Wimpy bombings, the Craig Duli coup, the applications of Craig Williamson, Trevor Tutu, Eugene de Kock and Jeffrey Benzien, the collective applications of the ANC 37 and APLA leaders, the Jerry Richardson case involving Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and amnesty cases stemming from the Magnus Malan trial. The content of many of the amnesty decisions are investigated to see how the Amnesty Committee applied the amnesty law and whether the decisions were fair and consistent. The book examines the amnesty application numbers - the number of 'legitimate' applications, the spread across political affiliation, the number of female applicants, and who is a victim and who is a perpetrator. It looks at the extent to which the indemnity process that occurred between 1990 and 1995 undermined the 'carrot' of amnesty, whether the criminal justice system offered a sufficient 'stick' to coax potential applicants into the process, and how timing of events and attitudes of political parties influenced applications. Also considered is the timing of hearings, the role of the Investigations Unit, and the way in which the Amnesty Committee dealt with offences committed outside of South Africa, witchcraft applications and gender crimes. The subject of the final chapter is what happens next. Will those who were refused amnesty or who did not apply be prosecuted? A few significant themes or debates permeate the text; the extent to which the TRC was victim-centred or perpetratorfriendly; the extent to which the TRC and the amnesty process in particular, contributed to the discovery of 'sufficient' truth, a prerequisite for reconciliation; and the extent to which the TRC and its amnesty process actively attempted to facilitate national unity and reconciliation.
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About the Author
Jeremy Sarkin has undergraduate and postgraduate law degrees from South Africa, a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Laws degree on comparative and international law from the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. He is admitted to practice as attorney in the USA and South Africa. He practiced at the New York bar during 1988 and 1989. He then spent time working at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a Professor of Law at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He was a member, and was Chairperson-Rapporteur (2009-2012), of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. He served as an acting judge in 2002 and 2003 in South Africa. He served as National Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of South Africa from 1994-1998. He has worked on transitional justice issues on a range of countries including Argentina, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Maldives, Nepal, Burundi, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Timor-Leste, the DRC, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Syria, Bahrain, and Lebanon. He is a co-editor of the book series on Transitional Justice. He is member of a number of journal editorial boards, including “Human Rights Quarterly”, “Human Rights and International Legal Discourse” and the “International Review of Criminal Law”. He serves on the boards of a number of NGOs, including the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). He has published several books and articles.