Saturday 6 April 2013


I believe that this post speaks for itself.

When Nelson Mandela left prison after twenty-seven years and became South Africa’s first democratically elected president, he called upon his old friend, Desmond Tutu, to chair The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This commission was a series of hearings – some of them public – in which both victims and perpetrators gave testimony about their experiences and actions during apartheid.

At one of the hearings, a policeman, called van de Broek, told of how he and his fellow officers shot an eighteen-year-old youth, then burnt the body. Eight years later they went back, took the father and forced his wife to watch as he was incinerated. She was in court to hear this confession and was asked by the judge what she wanted. She said she wanted van de Broek to go to the place where they had buried her husband’s body and gather up the dust so that she could give him a decent burial. Van de Broek agreed.

She then added a further request. ‘Mr van de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him too. I would like to embrace him so he can know that my forgiveness is real.’

Spontaneously, some in the courtroom began singing ‘Amazing Grace’ as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand. But van de Broek did not hear the hymn, he had fainted, overwhelmed.

This extract comes from my daily reading "Bible In One Year" []. htb stands for Holy Trinity, Brompton which is the church from which the Alpha Courses eminate.


ADDY said...

What an amazing woman. She sounds like Stephen Lawrence's mother - so full of dignity despite their suffering. I would like to think I would be like that, although I am realistic to know I would want to lash out and cause misery to the perpetrators. It must take a lot of faith to be all-forgiving.

Sueann said...

Forgiveness can be like that

Maggie May said...

She certainly is an amazing woman to be able to forgive so completely. Only by the grace of God...... surely.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Mimi said...

What an amazing woman.
Thank you for sharing this, it gives me great hope for the human race.