Fonds AL3066 - TRC Faith Hearings Collection

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TRC Faith Hearings Collection


  • 1997 (Accumulation)

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0.1 linear metre (1 archival box)

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Biographical history

The Research Institute for Christianity in Southern Africa (RICSA) is based at the University of Cape Town (UCT). In 1997 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) commissioned RICSA to advise it on setting up special hearings for the diverse faith communities of the country. The purpose of these hearings was to establish the position of religious communities during the mandated period of investigation of the TRC. Additionally, the Commission tried to establish in how far religious communities contributed to the entrenchment or the demise of Apartheid. Professors John de Gruchy and James Cochrane produced the required document based on more than thirty submissions of the various faith communities of South Africa. RICSA was also commissioned by the TRC to draft a report on the faith communities. The report – TRC FAITH COMMUNITIES REPORT – forms part of this collection.

RICSA was also tasked with drafting a report for inclusion in the TRC Final Report of 1998. The report is in Volume 4 Chapter 3 of the Final Report and is entitled “Institutional Hearing: The Faith Community”.

De Gruchy, Cochrane and Stephen Martin, who had assisted with the drafting of the report, have subsequently jointly edited a book entitled “Facing the Truth: South African Faith Communities and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which includes the full RICSA report as well as interpretative and analytical essays on the subject. The volume is published by David Philip Publishers, Cape Town in 1999.

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The records that comprise this collection are written submissions and transcribed testimonies of approximately thirty faith communities that were either presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) “Special Hearings: Faith Communities” that were held in East London from 17 to 19 November 1997 or which were a response to the letter of invitation sent to the faith communities by the TRC on 27 May 1997.''

Materials collected from TRC Archival Audit.

The TRC Archival Audit

Between 2003 and 2006, SAHA and Historical Papers, University of Witwatersrand embarked on a project to locate, retrieve and make available records relating to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC). The project entailed conducting an archival audit of all existing TRC records in order to identify and locate documentation in danger of being lost.

In the process of conducting the archival audit, SAHA and HP located many collections from individuals and organizations that participated in the TRC process, including this collection. Selections from these materials as well as TRC related material found in the freedom of Information Collection and other pre-existing SAHA and HP collections, were digitized and can be accessed online at

A guide to archival resources relating to South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission can also be found at

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This collection is open for research

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