The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up in the period directly following the end to of apartheid. It consisted of three different committees, the Human Rights Violations Committee, the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee and the Amnesty Committee.
The TRC had a courtroom set-up where perpetrators of human rights violations during the apartheid era had an official platform to repent and apply for Amnesty.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was asked to oversee the process. People from all sides of the political arena participated in the Commission. Some of the testimonials were televised, where people seeking indemnity for their crimes retold chilling stories of political murder. One of the most touching moments of the process came when Tutu was reduced to tears while listening to a particularly poignant testimony.
The TRC was established to serve both the victim and trespasser. Victims were able to claim compensation and trespassers were given amnesty from conviction on condition that they fully disclose their involvement during apartheid.
During apartheid many people also disappeared, and the TRC process offered the opportunity of discovering what had happened to these people.
Generally, the TRC is regarded as a success story and similar commissions have been set up in Liberia and Sierra Leone.