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South Africa

Provides a listing of articles on restorative justice developments in South Africa. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.

Hargovan, H.. Restorative Justice: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow--Making Sense of Shifting Perspectives in Crime Control and Criminal Justice in South Africa.
Restorative justice is the term commonly applied to a variety of dispute-resolution practices that aim to achieve more desirable outcomes than conventional forms of punishment. It is not restricted to a particular form of program, but refers to any practice that has the following characteristics: an emphasis on the offender's personal accountability for the harms his/her crime has caused the victim and the community; an inclusive decisionmaking process that encourages participation by key parties in the dispute; and the goal of remedying the harm caused by the offense. RJ has been embraced in most Western states in one form or another. This development is closely linked to premodern, modernist, and postmodern perspectives on society's response to crime. Over the past decade, South Africa has initiated a surge of reforms through new legislation and policies, with a focus on vulnerable groups, mainly women and children. RJ is a long way from becoming the mainstream approach to justice in South Africa; however, it has attracted attention as part of the enthusiasm for reform. Although the influence of RJ is evident in government rhetoric, there is a lack of engagement with relevant stakeholders on how RJ may inform a more significant portion of justice system activity. There has been little effort to address the practical issues that must be confronted in the design and implementation of RJ concepts in specific program structures. Before this can occur, more research is required in analyzing the relevance of various RJ models and practices for South Africa. (abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Herwitz, Daniel. The Future of the Past in South Africa:On the Legacy of TRC
"VOLUME 5 OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN TRUTH AND RECONCIIIATION contains a list of all the victims of gross human rights violations whose names appeared in the commission's database at that time (August 30,1998).' The list is arranged in three columns and is nearly 100 pages long. It is a factual compendium, for the archive, in keeping with a crucial intention of the TRC: to gather evidence of atrocity in the name of the nation. It is also a memorial, not unlike the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. by Maya Lin, whose stark litany of the dead is a chronology of loss reduced to names and years. The list of the victims in the TRC report is not cast in the hard currency of cut masonry like Lin's memorial, but appears only as ink on paper. Nevertheless, when read as a memorial rather than a mere compilation of facts, and when read as a distillation of the powerful events of the commission, the report takes on an aura akin to that of Lin's memorial. This is in accord with the religious-biblical character of the TRC, a work of nation-building guided by three men of the cloth— the most famous of whom was Bishop Desmond T\itu who, dressed in his flaming crimson robes and speaking the homilies of divinity before the victims, sternly urged perpetrators to full disclosure and even confession. A report of five volumes whose Utopian gesture is to distill truth into reconciliation, suffering into forgiveness, historical strife into national identity, and word into divinity lends that book the aura of a thing of grace to be reverentially held in one's hands: a bible of contemporary times." (Excerpt)
Hewitt, Tom. A Question of Justice.
Tom Hewitt begins this essay by reflecting on his experiences as a peace monitor in 1994 in South Africa at the country's first free and fair elections. The day of the elections was the day the "new" South Africa was born. At the same time, it also was the beginning of a potentially difficult and even traumatic period in South African history. The elections promised the hope of justice for many black South Africans. For many white South Africans, the elections were fraught with anxiety and fear for the future. In this context, Hewitt asks, "How does justice come to a situation like this?" To answer, he focuses on two opposing interpretations of justice: retributive, and restorative. He does so to make a case for restorative justice as a more hopeful and ethical form of justice.
Horn, Riana and Coetzee, Ben. The Theft of Precious Metals from South African Mines and Refineries
This study is a further endeavour to expand on the knowledge and understanding of the criminal threat that faces the precious metals mining industry in South Africa. Several findings and recommendations were made during a previous study conducted by Peter Gastrow and his team in 2001. These recommendations were acted upon by the precious metals mining industry, and the systems subsequently developed were used to compile the latest report. In return, new suggestions and recommendations are made herein to further enhance the capability of the precious metals mining industry to manage the crimes perpetrated against it. (excerpt)
Howse, Robert and Llewellyn, Jennifer J.. "Institutions for restorative justice: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
Proposes a different view of South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which challenges the conception of justice that underlies criminal trials. Limits of criminal trials; Support for restorative justice; Model of restorative justice in South Africa; Comparison with retributive justice; Strengths and weaknesses of the TRC.
Hubschle, Annette and Itzikowitz, Angela and Warutere, Peter and Gwintsa, Nomzi and Mthembu-Salter, Gregory and Goredema, Charles and Munyoro, Joseph. Money Laundering Experiences
This monograph not only examines recurrent trends in dealings with the proceeds of crime in East and Southern Africa. It goes further to probe the strengths and weaknesses of the critical agencies set up to check the abuse of the legitimate entry points to the economy in infusing such proceeds. The monograph comprises seven chapters. (excerpt)
InterMinisterial Committee on Young People at R. Legislative Proposals for Youth Justice: Family Group Conference
Point-by-point formal document (for the South African juvenile justice system) on how to conduct a Family Group Conference.
InterMinisterial Council on Young People at Risk. "Proposed Principles for a New Juvenile Justice System in South Africa."
Provides a listing of principles for a new paradigm of juvenile justice in South Africa are delineated.
Jafta, L D. Eco-Human Justice and Well-Being
This chapter sees an integral part of the reconciliation process in South Africa as economic empowerment of previously-disadvantaged inhabitants. The author ties the promotion of a South African economy rooted in environmental care (reaching back to early African respect for the earth( with a justice that respects human dignity and resists globalization as a subtle form of Western imperialism. In this way, South Africa will transcend the inequalities that characterized it politically and economically, enter the global market on its own two feet, and greatly advance the reconciliation process.
Jakopovich, Dan. A humanist defence and critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In this essay, I will assess the South African TRC from a radical humanist, peace-building perspective. Instead of the usual approach which judges the TRC according to its success or failure to achieve the objectives of ―retributive justice,‖ I will look at the TRC's work from the perspective of humanistic ethics, of ―restorative‖—or, in fact, ―transformative justice‖—and its specific goals. In the course of this analysis, I will illustrate how relocating the ideological vantage point in this way leads to a creative new (and very marginalized) set of objectives and benchmarks. These are generally applicable not just to the work of the South African TRC, but to future truth and reconciliation initiatives as well.(Author's abstract)
Jenneker, Madeleine and Cartwright, John. Governing Security: A Working Model in South Africa - The Peace Committee.
The Community Peace Programme coordinates, facilitates and supports people engaged in re-imaging and transforming the way in which governance generally – and safety and security in particular – is accomplished. In doing so, it develops, reflects upon and makes available ways of doing, thinking and living that make innovations in governance possible. (excerpt)
Juvenile Justice Reforms Pending in South Africa
A bill fostering the inclusion of restorative justice principles and practices for juveniles is still awaiting parliamentary action in South Africa. Originally introduced in 2002, the Child Justice Bill would create a consistent system for responding to youth crime by consolidating current practices and legislation with international standards for the treatment of juvenile offenders.
Kashyap, Rina. Narrative and truth: a feminist critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Prior to the establishment of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), 'gender was seldom explicitly invoked as a lens into human rights abuse or an organizing principle for the commission's work' (Nesiah et al., 2006, p. 3). In this respect the TRC is a trailblazer, as subsequent truth commissions in other countries have been inspired to incorporate the gender component. The study of the TRC, however, is relatively under-theorized from the feminist perspective. This article argues that the feminist perspective offers a nuanced scrutiny of narrative and truth, two major themes of the TRC. The feminist inquiry helps resurrect 'listening', as a crucial component of narratives. In addition, the value of the feminist perspective lies in its ability to throw light on the experience of both women and men and to create an argument and language for the articulation of the needs of the powerless and dispossessed in society. A feminist critique of truth and reconciliation commissions has the potential to make the transitional justice mechanism more inclusive and democratic. (excerpt)
Kayser, Undine. Creating a Space for Encounter and Rememberance: The Healing of Memories Process
This document consists of a research report written for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and for the Institute for Healing of Memories. The author is Undine Kayser, a postgraduate student in social anthropology at the University of Cape Town. This particular report is part of a larger research project aimed at a comprehensive analysis of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in South Africa. Kayser's field research looked at a process known as the "healing of memories" (HOM). It was a process that supported the work of the TRC. Yet it also presented an alternative intervention model for speaking about the past by providing an additional and different space from the TRC's testimonial arena. In her report, Kayser discusses the history of the HOM process, the nature of the research study, the HOM workshop model, key concepts in the HOM process, and challenges and potential of the HOM process.
Kayser, Undine. What do we tell our Children? The Work of the Centre for Ubuntu in Cape Town (formerly the Religious Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission)
The Centre for Ubuntu (formerly the Religious Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) is one of the initiatives that shaped and accompanied the process of truth and reconciliation in the Western Cape of South Africa. Originally a response of local faith communities to the South African process of transition, this initiative or campaign eventually became an organization operating as a parallel platform to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) work. In this paper, Undine Kayser reports on research into the creation process of this initiative, the intervention activities, and subsequent changes in the initiative since its formation in 1994. The paper covers the history of the Religious Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the formation of the Centre for Ubuntu, and key themes and activities of the operation of this initiative.
Kempa, Michael and Shearing, Clifford. Microscopic and macroscopic responses to inequalities in the governance of security: respective experiments in South Africa and Northern Ireland.
To reiterate, our focus is on particular developments in the governance of security that respond to general trends in governance. What makes these developments relevant for our purposes is that they self-consciously critique, and then respond to, critical trends in governance. The paper's contribution to the focus of this Focus Issue of Transformation - transformations in the spheres of crime and policing, particularly in South Africa - is that it uses developments in Northern Ireland and South Africa to identify and explore responses to global trends - one top-down, the other bottom-up. The principles that underlie these responses (as well as the specific ways in which they are realised in the cases we will explore), we suggest, are worthy of consideration in South Africa's ongoing transformation. (excerpt)
Khulisas' Restorative Justice Programme at Leeukop Prison
This nine minute video shows victims and offenders sharing their stories in a South African Prison.
Kimberly Spiers. Restorative Justice in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commision
This thesis examines the founding documents of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commision(SATRC) to assess if the commission was founded on restorative justice values(RJ).Following this,a discourse analysis is employed to examine a sample of transcripts from the victims' hearings and the outcomes of the hearings to assess whether or not the victim hearings followed RJ practices and if the outcomes were indeed of a restorative nature. It is concluded that the SATRC was founded on RJ values and the practices utilized through the hearings were restorative in nature. However,it cannot be concluded that the outcomes of the hearings and the SATRC were entirely restorative in nature. This conclusion takes into account that each individual's experiences are unique, as are his/her expectations. Furthermore, many of the outcomes identified in this thesis may take a lifetime to achieve ,if ever.
Krog, Antjie. ‘This thing called reconciliation…‘ forgiveness as part of an interconnectedness-towards-wholeness.
Regular reference is made, within the discourse around the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to the fact that ubuntu, an indigenous world view, played a role in the process. This paper tries to show that despite these references, important analysts of the TRC (as well as many South Africans) had insufficiently accounted for this worldview in their critical readings of the Commission’s work and therefore found aspects of the process incoherent and/or morally and legally confused. I am not arguing that the TRC was not a deeply flawed process, but want to establish how powerfully this indigenous world view brought a coherency that not only enabled the TRC to do its work without incidences of revenge, but imbued politically and legally trapped concepts with new possibilities. The pervasiveness of this world view within eg. the second round of TRC testimonies is noticeable and show how often the critique on the TRC fails to take this dominant role into account and how many, seemingly contradictory or confusing, positions become coherent when regarded within this worldview. This view of interconnectedness, consistently expressed throughout the life of the commission, has wide implications for the interpretation of healing, the asking of amnesty, the rehabilitation of perpetrators, the interdependence of forgiveness and reconciliation in the process of achieving full personhood within a healed society. In the footsteps of Richard Bell, this paper locates this world view within a particular framework formulated as ubuntu by Desmond Tutu, as communitarianism by Kwame Gyekye, as ethnophilosophy by Paulin Hountondji etc. The paper also tries to understand how this interconnected moral self is formed and who the community could or should be that influences this moral self. (author's abstract)
Kuperus, Tracy. Building a Pluralist Democracy: An Examination of Religious Associations in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Observers who comment on South Africa's democratic experience concentrate mainly on the domestic factors that have contributed to or are contributing to South Africa's democratic successes. Case studies from neighboring countries, however, provide important insights, and in this sense, Zimbabwe offers poignant lessons for South Africa. Although Zimbabwe sustained a transition in 1980, its experimentation with regime change led to a restrained democracy, or more accurately, a de facto one-party state. How will South Africa's consolidation phase differ from Zimbabwe's, and what can it learn from Zimbabwe's experiences? (excerpt)

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