History for the Future

Perpetrators had to take individual responsibility, says TRC commissioner

Dr Fazel Randera is renowned for being as a struggle doctor who worked tirelessly to save lives during apartheid. While in the United Kingdom working in the anti-apartheid movement he met his wife human rights activist, Prof Helen Rees.

After returning to South Africa from exile, Dr Randera went on to become a TRC Commissioner.

Randera says the TRC final report was very explicit in it's findings.

I don't think we could have been any clearer in the report, that apartheid was a crime against humanity; that the forces and the power that the state had, took on the greatest responsibility that the racism was an ideology of the state and it then manifested in many other ways.

Dr Fazel Randera, former TRC Commissioner

Both the ANC and FW de Klerk went to court to try and block the TRC report when it came out. Both lost.

There was this whole question of collective responsibility...the Act was very clear when it came to responsibility. There could not be a collective responsibility. There had to be individual responsibility.

Dr Fazel Randera, former TRC Commissioner

Listen to this episode from Pippa Green's series History For the Future and go to the entire series to hear more insights into the history of the TRC and the commissioners who played such a valuable role in this process.

Click below to hear Pippa Green's interview with Dr Fazel Randera:


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