By Don Foster, Paul Haupt, Maresa de Beer
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Extra resources for The Theatre of Violence: Narratives of Protagonists in the South African Conflict
In summary, a clear majority was granted amnesty when compliant with the procedural requirements of the TRC. When amnesty was refused, it was done so on grounds of a lack of clear political motive, no full disclosure or lack of proportionality. za How were amnesty decisions apportioned across various parties? Unfortunately the final amnesty report is not absolutely clear on this, and no tidy summary table is provided. Information appears as bits and pieces, scattered through Volume Six. 2 shows an approximation based on the scattered data.
Yes, but which truth perspective prevails? There is a further problem with the TRC’s brave foray into epistemological terrain. za knowledge or ‘truth’ are not merely distinct, but have different interests. No form of knowledge is simply neutral or impartial. For instance, positivism, that form of truth which is supposedly objective and value free, actually serves human interests of prediction and control. We want to know what causes violence in order to control its occurrence. By contrast, interpretative or discursive truths – in the TRC’s scheme, seen as narrative or dialogical truths – serve human interests of achieving intersubjective understanding, or of achieving practical tasks such as denial in order to escape censure.
Towards this end, the present chapter has raised some grey areas in respect of the very notion of ‘perpetrators’, discussed problems of balance regarding violence in unequal social formations and argued about the notion of truth as forwarded by the TRC. Subsequent chapters will examine representations of ‘perpetrators’ in popular discourse and review international literature that claims to provide ‘explanations’. Exploration continues with presentation of narratives from protagonists from various places and sides of the struggle; stories told, with limited editing (only to enhance readability), in their own words in their own way.
The Theatre of Violence: Narratives of Protagonists in the South African Conflict by Don Foster, Paul Haupt, Maresa de Beer