Taiwan President discusses transitional justice with former South African leader

True reconciliation has still not arrived in Taiwan: Tsai

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Former South African President FW de Klerk (left) visited President Tsai Ing-wen Wednesday.

Former South African President FW de Klerk (left) visited President Tsai Ing-wen Wednesday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Real reconciliation in the wake of transitional justice has still not arrived in Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told visiting former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk Wednesday.

He was the last white president of South Africa, and following his agreement with Nelson Mandela to do away with apartheid, both men won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

De Klerk was in Taipei to attend celebrations marking Double Ten National Day. During his term in office from 1989 to 1994, South Africa was still one of Taiwan’s official diplomatic allies.

Touching on the common subject of transitional justice, Tsai told him that in Taiwan, the necessary work of revealing the truth about human rights violations, determining responsibility, and judicial rectification had not been completed yet, the Central News Agency reported. Real reconciliation had not arrived yet, the president told her guest.

The president informed de Klerk, 82, who was on his ninth trip to Taiwan, about the formation of the Transitional Justice Commission, which recently started its work by expunging the criminal records of 1,270 victims of Martial Law repression.

Tsai said that in many ways, South Africa had shown the way due to its own transitional justice process, CNA reported. She expressed the hope that relations between the two countries could grow ever closer.