Video | Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

De Facto and De Jure Apartheid: On the Moral, Political and Policy Failures of the Post-Apartheid State: A Call for an Official State Apology for Apartheid in South Africa
Yazier Henry
Speaker’s Synopsis: Legal Apartheid was politically, legally and procedurally dismantled after a protracted anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in 1994. South Africa’s first racially inclusive election on April 26, 1994 literally and symbolically marked this legal ending, after four years of tense and at times violent negotiations between the leaders of Apartheid South Africa and those of the anti-apartheid movements. However, 25 years after this hopeful and euphoric historical moment the dead are still being counted, the transmutation of formal apartheid into social and economic apartheid is all but complete and the legacy of Apartheid’s crimes endure – threatening the very dream of Nelson Mandela’s vision for a nonracial, nonsexist, equal and just political system in South Africa. This talk will critically engage the political, legal and moral failures of state responsibilities to international humanitarian and human rights law and the state’s political, legal and moral management of the freedom movement.

Yazier Henry teaches at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is a public intellectual, strategist, conflict management expert, teacher, facilitator, scholar, professional human rights advocate, and poet. He has written and published on the political economy of social voice, historical memory work, political trauma and social integration, identity and race, peace processes, Truth Commissions, human rights, and international transitional justice. His research and writing priorities focus on the interrelationship and intersections of structural, systemic, institutional, and administrative violence. He is particularly interested in the politics and economics of human rights and the social violence of the law. His current work is on how state violence becomes systemically structured and institutionalized during political transitions in the global south.