There’s a great difference between the concept of forgiveness, and the necessity of holding those who have committed acts of great hostility to account. Insisting that those with a debt to society pay their debt is not the same as being churlish or holding a grudge.
Last year I wrote an open letter to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services putting forward my objection to the early release of Eugene de Kock after serving only 20 years of his 212-year sentence for Apartheid crimes [Daily Maverick, 27 June 2014].
Now, in the face of the media around the actual release of De Kock, I feel the need to better articulate my ideas around the notion of forgiveness. I get a sense of ‘victim blaming’ in the current discourse, as though those who don’t ‘forgive him’ are socially andor psychologically maimed and maladjusted, with words like ‘holding onto grudges’ and ‘wallowing’ being bandied about.
I am not generally a great believer in punishment and retribution. I am, however, a believer in social processes of collective means of control for mutual well-being of all within the reality of unequal vulnerability to harm. That is, social justice despite unequal …
Source : Daily Maverick