History for the Future

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

Mary Burton has been a tireless fighter for social justice and worked for decades in the human rights advocacy group the Black Sash for decades, before being appointed a commissioner on the Truth and reconciliation commission.

Journalist Pippa Green spoke to Burton about her time at the TRC.

Burton says the way the TRC organised it's public hearings had a very big impact both on those who attended, but also heard and watched summaries on television and radio.

The radio was fantastic. it covered all of those public hearings so well.

Mary Burton, former TRC commissioner

Burton says people ask what we can do now to talk about the poverty and inequality.

How do we raise the level of concern about those issues?

Mary Burton, former TRC commissioner

She says a number of 'speak-outs' were arranged after the TRC, by the churches, but these did not continue for long.

The impact of the TRC on the country was very powerful, and she wonders why we did not learn from that, and use that more.

Burton says it is hard to keep the commission's work in memory as the report is hard to access, and the film footage of the hearings, most of which is owned by the SABC, is expensive to buy, particularly for NGOs.

She says she had also hoped that after the TRC, there would be an array of investigations into the broader structural effects of apartheid such as land issues, poverty and education.

It was a great frustration and a great disappointment to find that it didn't.

Mary Burton, former TRC commissioner

Veteran journalist Pippa Green's interview with Mary Burton forms part of a series, History for the Future , where 13 TRC commissioners look back at the experience of the TRC from the first human rights violation hearing 20 years ago until the conclusion of the report. They explore strengths of the TRC and its weaknesses.

They also reflect on where we are now as a nation, and answer the critical question: where to from here?

Listen to the entire podcast with Mary Burton below, and click to listen to other episodes from this series on CapeTalk and 702:


This article first appeared on 702 : TRC commissioner Mary Burton praises radio and TV coverage of the hearings


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
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 Glenda Wildschut says country feels like it is in High Care

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

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
Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Dr Eve advises that many modern couples need marriage to be a safe space for self-expression and self-actualisation.

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

AfriForum not backing down over decision to privately prosecute Julius Malema.

'They shot out the tyres and they shot the victim'

'They shot out the tyres and they shot the victim'

EWN's Mandy Weiner describes an eyewitness account of one of the two shootings on Johannesburg's highways on Wednesday.

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Climate expert, Piotr Wolski, says the city will know towards the end of May whether 2018 is a good or bad year.

Where is Zuma going to get this 'tsunami' of legal fees?  - Karyn Maughan

Where is Zuma going to get this 'tsunami' of legal fees? - Karyn Maughan

The Presidency has now officially withdrawn its application for leave to appeal the personal costs order against Jacob Zuma.

Water to be released from Berg River to Misverstand Dam to avoid Day Zero

Water to be released from Berg River to Misverstand Dam to avoid Day Zero

Government has put plans in place to prevent the Misverstand Dam from running dry in a week's time.

Highly-criticised world athletics body's rule could end Caster Semenya's career

Highly-criticised world athletics body's rule could end Caster Semenya's career

She faces ongoing complaints from rivals about having an "unfair advantage" on the track, but how fair is this proposed IAAF rule?