SABC News and the South African History Archive (SAHA) have launched a new website highlighting the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The multimedia web resource brings together video material from the SABC’s Truth Commission Special Report television series last broadcast 15 years ago, the TRC Final Report and other documentation generated by the Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the late nineties.
The launch coincides with Human Rights Month and the 10th anniversary of the handover of the final recommendations of the TRC to then Presidnet Thabo Mbeki on 21 March 2003.
“The new website will make the work of the TRC universally accessible and introduce a new generation of South Africans to this vital period in the making of our democracy. This initiative forms part of the SABC’s efforts to highlight apartheid history, using some of its rich archival materials to provide a powerful window into the conflicts of the past and the on-going challenges around reconciliation facing South Africa today,” says acting group executive of SABC News, Jimi Matthews.
The new website centres on the SABC’s 87-part Truth Commission Special Report television series originally broadcast every week between 21 April 1996 and 29 March 1998. This series has been brought out of the archives, digitised and repackaged by SAHA as an interactive tool enabling users to revisit the work of the TRC.
All episodes of the television series have been catalogued, transcribed, indexed and linked to relevant sections of the official TRC Final Report, transcripts from TRC hearings, amnesty decisions, submissions made to the TRC and other related resources, to form a seamless searchable resource intended to make the work of the TRC more accessible and to support on-going transitional justice and reconciliation work in South Africa.
The website has been developed by SAHA in conjunction with SABC Digital News and SABC Business Development. It is based on the SAHA/SABC Truth Commission Special Report Multimedia Product produced by SAHA from 2008–2010, developed primarily with the financial support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, with additional funding provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies.