History for the Future

TRC commissioner Glenda Wildschut says country feels like it is in High Care

Human rights activist and former TRC commissioner, Glenda Wildschut, talks to journalist Pippa Green about the aftermath of the Commission and the work that still needs to be done to bring about healing.

She spoke to Green about her fears, if there had been no Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

I was afraid that we would descend into civil war...There were moments when i though oh my goodness me, we're going to have years and years of conflict.

Glenda Wildschut, former TRC commissioner

People call it a miracle. I don't call it a miracle, because I think people really sacrificed a lot for where we were then in '94.

Glenda Wildschut, former TRC commissioner

Wildschut says democracy was hard won.

But even with all the horrible, awful revelations during the truth Commission, we had no revenge attack, not one.

Glenda Wildschut, former TRC commissioner

The mandate of the TRC was to deal only with gross violations of human rights. But Wildschut says they tried to send researchers to the towns where hearings were to be held, to provide a context and understand the social issues that these places were facing.

Immediately after the Commission, I thought we were moving in the right direction...There was a lot of talk about the beneficiaries of apartheid.

Glenda Wildschut, former TRC commissioner

She says there were discussions about what people who had benefited from apartheid could do to contribute in some way. Even victims of apartheid who were more affluent, wanted to help.

But she says, all these initiatives have failed.

I think our country is in ICU at the moment, or high care...we are not talking enough about the impact of the past, there is not enough space for empathy.

Glenda Wildschut, former TRC commissioner

Listen to this latest episode below, and go to History for the Future to listen to other episodes in the series by veteran journalist Pippa Green, as she interviews 13 former TRC commissioners about the work they did and the impact on South Africa today.

Read More
TRC may have given people unrealistic expectations says former commissioner

TRC may have given people unrealistic expectations says former commissioner

Richard Lyster says the current state of moral decay and corruption epitomised in Jacob Zuma makes it hard to rebuild the country

Former TRC commissioner questions whether some should have received amnesty

Former TRC commissioner questions whether some should have received amnesty

Hlengiwe Mkhize says the criteria that gave amnesty to apartheid officials has not been fully understood by communities.

Afrikaner who broke ranks with Nats says PW should have been held to account

Afrikaner who broke ranks with Nats says PW should have been held to account

Wynand Malan became estranged from the National Party and eventually served as Vice-Chair on Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

TRC was safe space for apartheid victims to tell their stories - Judge Khampepe

TRC was safe space for apartheid victims to tell their stories - Judge Khampepe

Former TRC commissioner says post the TRC, the process of reconciliation is ongoing journey that South Africans need to commit to.

TRC commissioner Mary Burton praises radio and TV coverage of the hearings

TRC commissioner Mary Burton praises radio and TV coverage of the hearings

She says it is hard to keep the commission's work in memory, as the report is hard to access, and the film footage is expensive.

Victims of apartheid feel they got a raw deal says TRC commissioner

Victims of apartheid feel they got a raw deal says TRC commissioner

Former TRC commissioner Rev. Bongani Finca says perpetrators had an easier time getting amnesty, while victims feel hard done by

Popular articles
Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stuff magazine’s Toby Shapshak.

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

Nkosinathi Nkomo came up with a system that could turn grey water into usable water amidst the Cape Town water crisis.

Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)

Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the former CEO of Africa’s largest retailer by far.

CT airport shooting attempted hit on gang boss allegedly linked to '28s' -expert

CT airport shooting attempted hit on gang boss allegedly linked to '28s' -expert

A policing expert explains that the airport shooting may be linked to the shooting at a Stellenbosch nightclub this past weekend.

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Independent Marketing Consultant in the Technology Space, Andrew Fraser says this looks like a leak and not a hack.

Cape Town International Airport shooting could be gang related - ACSA

Cape Town International Airport shooting could be gang related - ACSA

The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.