Truth of commissions

27 Nov 2013

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THIS country has known commissions. There have been commissions of inquiry and … omissions too of various kinds. …

This is why the talk about a truth commission … has the potential to be the Mother of all Omissions. Simply put, commissions … have come to be viewed with suspicion. …

There’s a pattern to the instituting of commissions. … First there is articulated grievance. Then there’s complaint that the mechanisms capable of addressing the same are non-existent or malfunctioning. There is agitation. Then, if agitation threatens to grow … we get commissions. …

How should the nation, then, respond to the ‘truth commission’ that has been mooted? Should the noise be taken as a calculated move designed to deflect some of the invective, anticipated from the likes of David Cameron at CHOGM 2013? …

…[I]f we need so many commissions, it could mean that the regular mechanisms for … addressing grievances are woefully inadequate. …

…[B]oth the Truth and Reconciliation Commission … and the mechanism to investigate torture mooted by the Human Rights Commission have immense potential. …

But if … these go the way of other commissions, then this will be the end of ‘commissioning’. …— (Nov 23)