More focused than most books about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), this searing account is by a psychologist who grew up in the black townships and who served on the TRC under Archbishop Tutu. She brings you close to the horrific testimony about what apartheid's perpetrators did, and also to what Tutu called "holy" scenes of forgiveness by victims' families. But at the center are her personal prison interviews with Eugene de Kock, who directed "the blood, the bodies and the killing" against apartheid's enemies. Does he feel remorse? Can Gobodo-Madikizela feel empathy for him? Demonizing him as monster, as hopelessly other, lets him--and us--off too easily, she maintains. The elemental issues about perpetrators, victims, and bystanders stretch back to the Holocaust and will spark intense discussion. How can apartheid Prime Minister De Klerk say his hands were clean? What about the majority of whites who say they didn't know? No easy answers, just the hope embodied in the TRC that cycles of political violence can be broken and that there are alternatives to revenge. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
PUMLA GOBODO-MADIKIZELA served on the Human Rights Violations Committee of South Africa's great national experiment in healing, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She lectures internationally on issues of reconciliation.