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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


VELLEM, Vuyani. Between two trees: on rediscovering reconciliation in post-1994 South Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.3, pp.1-19. ISSN 2412-4265.

A veiled logic minimises the gift of reconciliation from the poor when we examine the concepts of "reparation" and "deficit" in our discourse of reconciliation within South Africa. Instrumental rationality renders umkhondo-the footprints, the hints- of reconciliation elusive. The kaffir boom, a tree of victory and violence, subsumes umsintsi, a tree of defeat, a tree of a black person if the symbolic significance of the two names for the same tree is brought to attention. The interpretation of reparations and deficit through hegemonic, Western theological lenses cheapens and robs reconciliation of justice. Who then, is in Vlakplaas today-in post-1994 South Africa? Is silence penitential or does it signify arrogance by the beneficiaries of apartheid and colonialism? The myths that conceal the distorted logic being used to define reparations and deficit are no longer helpful. This article contends that black Africans need to craft their tools of reconciliation by resisting a bifurcation of their spiritual resources from the discourse of reconciliation.

Keywords : Post-1994 South Africa; Vlakplaas; reconciliation; reparation; deficit; umsintsi; kaffir boom [tree].

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