Unsettling Apologies

Critical Writings on Apology from South Africa

Edited by Melanie Judge and Dee Smythe

Published

Sep 29, 2022

Page count

336 pages

Series

Law, Society, Policy

ISBN

978-1529227963

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Sep 29, 2022

Page count

336 pages

Series

Law, Society, Policy

ISBN

978-1529227956

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Sep 29, 2022

Page count

336 pages

Series

Law, Society, Policy

ISBN

978-1529227970

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Unsettling Apologies

There has recently been a global resurgence of demands for the acknowledgement of historical and contemporary wrongs, as well as for apologies and reparation for harms suffered.

Drawing on the histories of injustice, dispossession and violence in South Africa, this book examines the cultural, political and legal role, and value of, an apology. It examines the multiple ways in which ‘sorry’ is instituted, articulated and performed, and critically analyses its various forms and functions in both historical and contemporary moments. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team of contributors, the book’s analysis offers insights that will be invaluable to global debates on the struggle for justice.

“This book is a timely gift! Boldly exploring the much-desired, much-dreaded and avoided concept – saying sorry – is vital for any communal health. From these texts a deeply enriching experience flows in a flair of innovatively composed, exceptionally comprehensive and clear, compelling argumentation.” Antjie Krog, University of the Western Cape

"This is an instructive anthology of harrowingly evocative essays and poetry on our unresolved collective grief. Most of the authors recognise our startling historical poser: not the perpetrators but the victims turned ruling elite bore the full brunt of the minimum material apologies and reparations and in that, they roundly failed." Dikgang Moseneke, Retired Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa

Melanie Judge works with leading civil society organisations and multilateral institutions on strategy, policy and research for sexual and gender rights in Africa and is Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town.

Dee Smythe is Professor of Public Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town as well as a member of the Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento sobre Direito e Sociedade (CEDIS) at the Nova University of Lisbon School of Law.

1. The Power of Apology - Melanie Judge and Dee Smythe

2. We Speak in the Shadow of the Tongues They Took - Siphokazi Jonas

3. Can an Apology Ever Be Enough for Crimes of the Past? - Yasmin Sooka

4. In Pursuit of Harmony: What is the Value of a Court-Ordered Apology? - Sindiso Mnisi Weeks

5. Penance and Punishment: Apology as a Remedy for Hate Speech - Nurina Ally and Kerry Williams

6. On Not Apologising: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the TRC Hearing into the Mandela United Football Club - Shireen Hassim

7. (Mis)Recognitions in the Racial Apology: Reading the Racist Event and its Fallouts - Nkululeko Nkomo and Peace Kiguwa

8. Apology as a Pathway out of White Unknowing - Christi van der Westhuizen

9. (Re)Collections: Her Sorry, Never Mine - Diane Jefthas

10. Beyond Words: Apologies and Compensation in Sexual Off ences - Leila Khan and Dee Smythe

11. ‘She Told Me to Stop Making a Fuss’: Undignified Treatment, Medical Negligence Claims, and Desires for Apology - Omowamiwa Kolawole

12. Unicorn Sightings: The Corporate Moral Apology in South Africa - Tracey Davies

13. In Black and White: The Hollow Apology of Racialised State Compensation to Freehold Landowners - Thuto Thipe

14. On Apology and the Failure of Shame in the TRC - Jaco Barnard-Naudé

15. Amnesty, Amnesia, and Remembrance: Self-Reflections on a 23-Year-Old Justification - Heinz Klug