Last week, UCT hosted an unprecedented summit of international peacemakers and scholars of reconciliation.
The occasion was a conference on Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Reflecting on ten years of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and drew delegates from over 20 countries to share their research and experience in solving violent global conflicts. The event, firstly, celebrated Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's life as a remarkable ambassador of peace, and also marked the 10th anniversary of the TRC.
The gathering of South African and international delegates reflected on the work of the TRC in South Africa and its global impact.
Among the guests were Maria Ntuli and Lizzie Sefole, mothers of two of the Mamelodi 10, and Anne-Marie McGregor, whose son was killed while on duty in the 'border' wars in Namibia. Delegates also had the opportunity to see Tutu, joined by Dr Mamphela Ramphele, in dialogue with these mothers.
"Revenge creates endless cycles that are passed on into one generation after another," said UCT's Associate Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, conference convenor. "Our experience of the TRC in South Africa has shown that if the right conditions are created, one can have dialogue with one's former enemies.
"That is the gift that South Africa can share with the world."
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