BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 10/98: Truth and Reconciliation  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
UK Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Truth and Reconciliation Friday, 30 October, 1998, 09:03 GMT
Seeking the truth: Timeline
1995

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation is set up under the 1995 Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act to investigate crimes committed during the apartheid era.
TRC: The facts

1996

Hearings begin in April 1996 amid a swarm of international television cameras. The hearings that follow, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, see victims of the apartheid authorities, their widows and their mothers, break down in tears as they give their testimony.

F.W. De Klerk appears before the Commission in August 1996, and begs forgiveness for the years of apartheid rule.

In a breakthrough for the commission, top apartheid-era police general Johan van der Merwe admits in October 1996 that he ordered sabotage attacks including blowing up the Johannesburg headquarters of the South African Council of Churches in 1988.

1997

The commission announces in June 1997 that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is being subpoenaed to appear in connection with amnesty applications by her former guards, nicknamed the Mandela United Football Club. Led by her, they stood accused of kidnap and murder.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, giving evidence for the first time to a Commission hearing in Johannesburg in December 1997, describes evidence against her as 'ludicrous' and says the Commission is a "mud-slinging exercise".
Winnie says evidence 'ludicrous'

Former South African President, PW Botha ignores a summons to appear before the Commission in December 1997. "Clearly the appeals of various people - including the President of this country - have not prevailed and Mr PW Botha has seen fit not to appear," says Archbishop Tutu. "We will let the law take its course."
Botha flouts Truth Commission

1998

In testimony in March 1988 on the death of black leader Steve Biko in 1977, police officers who interrogated him admit they beat him but still say his death was accidental.
Biko murder hearings resume

South African scientist Daan Goosen tells the Commission in June 1998 that the apartheid government considered trying to develop a bacteria which would kill only blacks.
Apartheid government sought germs to kill blacks

Former Law and Order Minister Adriaan Vlok tells the commission in July that he received orders from former South African President PW Botha to engineer the bombing of the South African Council of Churches in 1988.
Botha implicated in Church bombing

The commission finds that testimony from Adriaan Vlok that South Africa's last white president, F.W. de Klerk knew of illegal operations against black groups, conradicts accounts given to the commission by Mr de Klerk himself.
Commission examines 'lies'

Winding up the hearings, the Commission hears testimony from Dr Wouter Basson in July 1998, who headed a government chemical and biological weapons programme during the apartheid era.
'Doctor Death' implicates West

The commission officially ends its work in July 1998 after more than two years of hearings and investigations into human rights violations committed during the apartheid era.
Truth Commission ends investigation

Former South African President PW Botha is found guilty in August 1998 of contempt for ignoring a summons to appear before the Commission to answer allegations that he led a state-sponsored strategy to silence and harass anti-apartheid activists while in office. His lawyers appeal against the fine and suspended one-year jail sentence.
Botha guilty

A leaked document from the Commission in October 1998 implicates the ANC in human rights abuses and torture.
Truth Commission blames ANC

A day before it is due to be released, the report is legally challenged by F.W. de Klerk forcing the TRC to remove a section that implicated him in a series of bombings in the 1980s.
De Klerk accusations cut from report

Just hours before the final report is to be published the ANC fails in a court bid to prevent its publication.
ANC fails to block Truth report

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Truth and Reconciliation stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Truth and Reconciliation stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
UK Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes