Paraphrasing Descartes, we may say that one method is to take the reader into your
confidence by explaining to him how you arrived at your discovery; the other is to bully
him into accepting a conclusion by parading a series of propositions which he must accept
and which lead to it. The first method allows the reader to re-think your own thoughts in
their natural order. It is an autobiographical style. Writing in this style, you include, not
what you had for breakfast on the day of your discovery, but any significant consideration
which helped you arrive at your idea.
With the work of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission complete, James L Gibson sets out to test one of its key premises, namely, that truth can facilitate reconciliation and help a nation both to deal with its painful past and to move on to a more democratic future. Drawing on one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of post-apartheid attitudes to date, and employing innovative conceptual and methodological tools, Gibson’s sophisticated and subtle analysis offers both encouraging and disheartening insights into the success of the truth and reconciliation processs.
In 1996, as South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was beginning its hearings, Nicholas Gcaleka, a healer diviner from the town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, set off on a journey to retrieve the skull of Hintsa, the Xhosa king. Hintsa had been killed by British troops on the banks of the Nqabarha River over a century and a half before and, it was widely believed, been beheaded. From a variety of quarters including the press, academia and Xhosa traditional leadership Gcaleka's mission was mocked and derided....
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