Truth Commissions: Did the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission serve the purpose for which it was established?
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Since the 1980's, many dictatorships around the world have been replaced by new democracies. These old dictatorships were notorious for their human rights abuses. Many people were killed and tortured; and many others were disappeared. When the new governments came into power, they had to confront these injustices that were perpetrated under the predecessor regime. This was necessary to create a culture of human rights; promote a respect for the law and access to justice. Many confronted these injustices in different ways, some granted amnesty, some prosecuted and others instituted truth commissions. This research paper focuses on truth commissions. The research focuses particularly on the study of the South African Truth Commission. The mandate of the South African Truth Commission is analysed and the investigation into whether the commission served the purpose for which it had been established is discussed.