Thursday, February 5, 1998 at 17:17:26

There are so many thoeries, religious, pyschological, cultural, etc, on how to deal with pain, anger, bitterness...but effective success of the solutions/suggestions proffered by all these theories relies on a unique & innate human quality which is to forgive and learn through forgiveing but to forgive is a verb that requires a subject & and an object. The object being that which we need to forgive.

This is where the TRC has truly filled the many myriad of painful voids that need to be sensitively filled to heal for our future.

Michelle Katherine Beckerleg, Cape Town, SA

Friday, February 6, 1998 at 12:44:50

I personally believe that in order to effectively promote reconciliation in our beautiful country, we have to know the truth about events in the past. Being a member of the Hindu Faith, Hinduism teaches us forgiveness in order to move forward in the pursuit of God Realisation. Furthermore, all religions in South Africa have a great role to play in promoting the concept of reconciliation. Hindu Religious Leaders should be in the forefront of promoting this noble ideal. It is my humble submission that Hindu Religious leaders were not vigorous enough in exposing the blatant injustices of the past. These Hindu leaders should now be in the forefront in educating the Hindu Community about the noble ideals that are contained in Hindu Scripture such as Truth. Righteousness, Love, Peace & Non-Violence.

Mr Pravine Naidoo, Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa

Monday, February 9, 1998 at 16:56:54

I humbly ask my fellow South Africans for forgiveness for my fear of doing what I knew in my heart to be right. Apathy and acceptance was a far easier option.

As a nation with a proud future, we need to forgive one another - all of us - but never forget what horrors were committed in the name of ideology.

All our children must be able to enjoy the wonderful future that beckons so tantalising for us all.

As a nation, we have proven that we have the character, the will, the determination and the capacity to build a future we so many others have failed.

Nkosi sikelel'i - Afrika!

Dave Pughe-Parry, Cape Town, SA

Tuesday, February 10, 1998 at 17:30:38

If what I am doing by sending this message/signing this register is declaring awareness of personal responsibilities for racism, then I will sign. Acknowledging 'personal responsibility" is about knowing how much my 'white-ness' has put me in the pathways of resources, and knowing, too, that of 24 hours in a day (for 38 years of living), I have spent far too little time demolishing those avenues towards privilege, far too little ensuring others have access to them. I am so sorry for all the blind moments, all the "tired" moments; I am sorry for the travesty of humanity that is "white-ness", and sorry that - in my body, every day - I am a reminder of this travesty to people whose paths I cross.

Jane Bennett, South Africa

Wednesday, February 11, 1998 at 09:46:12

The full horror of what our people have experienced is finally coming out into the open. Thank you to the TRC for starting the process of truth-finding and reconciliation. How else could I have learned how to begin to forgive? I feel privileged to have taken part in this process and I look forward to our future. It is only now that I feel that I can share in the identity of being "South African" and I commit myself to reconciling with other South Africans and to making our country into a new building from the rubble of our ruined past.

'If you don't stay bitter
and angry for too long
and have the courage to go back
you will discover that the autumn smoke
writes different more hopeful messages
in the high skies of the old country."

-- Charles Mungoshi (Zimbabwe)

Alison Lockhart, Pietermaritzburg, SA

Sunday, February 15, 1998 at 21:22:43

Martha Sampson, a resident of your country spoke this morning to our 6-8th grade confirmation students. We were discussing the 8th commandment, and sins of commission as well as those of omission. Of course, as a silent observer, I have to ask forgiveness for my own sin of omission relating to Apartheid and the human condition in Africa.

Ms. Sampson spoke about the Commission and I instantly became very interested. How humbling to hear about the willingness to forgive unforgivable sins in order to better everyone. What an unbelievably Christ-like gesture! God bless you and your work. My faith in humankind has been rekindled and I hope it will flame into action for healing necessary here in the United States, also.

Paula Francis, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA

Monday, February 16, 1998 at 05:09:21

I have devoted the major portion of my adult life working against human rights denials and abuses. This led me to be very involved in the civil rights movement in the United States and to become a social worker. I have followed the struggle in South Africa for many years and I became tremendously impressed with the vision of Nelson Mandela and the emergence of the ANC representing the otherwise silent sufferers all over S.A.

With this background, I just spent three weeks seeing as much as possible in my travels all around S.A. I had 10 flights in 16 days and saw a great deal. I understand so much more now and I really loved being in the country. I rededicate myself to working against "apartheid" both large and small--wherever it may exist, and no matter whether those excluded from full participation in their own societies are Black, Jewish, Bosnian, or homosexuals,etc.

Linda G. Klein, Washington, D.C., USA

Tuesday, February 17, 1998 at 00:28:22

As 'n Afrikanerseun wat groot geword het in die tagtiger jare, het ek al die eksklusiewe voorregte geniet wat die Apartheids-bestel aan my gebied het, sonder om ooit die onreg daarvan te bevraagteken. Daarvoor is ek opreg jammer, en hoop dat deur vergifnis heen my landgenote wat aan die ander kant van Apartheid gestaan het, my sal aanvaar en insluit in die toekoms van hierdie pragtige land. Ek wil graag help om, binne my vermoens, Suid-Afrikaners met mekaar te help versoen, sodat vrede hier sal heers.

die uwe.

Stephanus Francois du Toit, Stellenbosch, SA

Friday, February 20, 1998 at 11:22:52

Dankie vir die geleentheid om opreg te kan se dat ek jammer is dat ek vir so lank blind en doof was vir die lyding van my swart mede-Suid-Afrikaners. Ek besef dat ek onregverdig bevoordeel is en onbeskryflik baie voorregte het, maar dis pynlik om te weet dat dit ten koste was van mense wat dit in baie opsigte meer verdien as ek.

Ek onderneem om op my beperkte manier te probeer bydra tot versoening, om sensitief te wees en om respek teenoor alle mense te bevorder.

Ek waardeer die werk wat die WVK onder moeilike omstandighede doen en ek vra om verskoning vir die negatiewe houding van sommige van my taalgenote.

Dankie dat julle help om 'n burgeroorlog te voorkom en dankie dat julle mense die kans gee om erkenning te kry vir die pyn en vernedering wat apartheid veroorsaak het.

Sterkte - ook vir die mense wat agter die skerms werk.

Viva waarheid en versoening!

Barbara Blom, Table View, Kaapstad, SA

Friday, February 20, 1998 at 15:11:49

I was reluctant to add my name to this list because I have always been against racial, sexual, religious and other forms of discrimination. Nevertheless, I must own that I did not engage actively in any official form of anti-apartheid. When looking back, I still do notknow what I should have done. I do wish I had done more. I firmly believe, notwithstanding the negative prevailing views, that we can make this country work. I hope for forgiveness from those who were wronged. I am sorry for any way in which I may have contributed to the perpetuation of apartheid and I am delighted that I have witnessed it's demise in my lifetime.

Penny de Vries, Pinetown, Kwazulu-Natal, SA