Charles Villa Vicencio

National Research Director: South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission 1996-1998
It was Charles Villa Vicencio’s theological writings that helped turn white South African Christians away from a belief that apartheid was in any way God given. And between 1996 and 1998, he played a central role in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission as its National Research Director. He is a key proponent of inclusivity which advocates, “…encompassing even members of the old regime and other potential spoilers of a settlement”.
Vicencio recognizes the limitations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission but argues that it did achieve progress in that the divide in South Africa is no longer “literally a case of black and white…today the divide is as much about class as about race.”
Today, he spreads the lessons learnt through the Mandela days to other transitional countries through the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation which he established. Whenever Vicencio returns from these precarious Latin American and African countries, he thinks, “Thank God I live in South Africa”.