Original Research

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and gender: The Testimony of Mrs Konile revisited

Sandiswa L. Kobe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4572 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4572 | © 2017 Sandiswa L. Kobe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2017 | Published: 05 December 2017

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Sandiswa L. Kobe, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Vrije University, the Netherlands and Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article draws on a well-known narration of the Gugulethu Seven incident from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) proceedings with specific reference to testimonies of the mothers of the Gugulethu Seven. The article focuses on Mrs Konile’s testimony as a case study: Testimony of a black woman whose son was murdered by the apartheid government’s security forces. During the TRC hearings, Mrs Konile ‘failed’ to effectively narrate her story, which resulted in her testimony being dismissed as being incoherent. This article examines the underlying attributes of Mrs Konile’s testimony and revisits why she was considered ‘incapable’ of articulating her experience in a convincing manner. The analysis aims to acknowledge, identify and give insights about this woman’s testimony from an African women theologian viewpoint (specifically with references to the Isixhosa religious cultural background).


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