Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

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2019 Sir John Graham Lecture | Across Our Fault Lines

Repairing the brokenness of the past


Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Stellenbosch University

6pm, Friday, 5 July | Pullman Hotel

with the support of the
New Zealand Law Foundation

and exclusive wine sponsor
Martinborough Vineyard


Every society must negotiate how it will repair acts of wrongdoing— whether in the individual experience of crimes committed against particular victims, or through the ongoing social consequences of cultural, racial, or religious conflict.

Since serving on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela has dedicated her life to understanding how we can bridge the differences that have been at the root of historic divisions through reconciliation and reparation, “creating spaces for dialogue, facing and mourning the past.”

In her 2019 Sir John Graham Lecture, Professor Gobodo-Madikizela reflected on the successes and failures of the practice of reconciliation as a response to historic injustices; and considered questions about its capacity to interrupt intergenerational cycles of suffering and to bring wholeness and lasting peace. Her scholarship and story contributed to our conversation as we walked through our own history and questions.



Currently the Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, Professor Gobodo-Madikizela’s work as a clinical psychologist on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa provided the basis for her multi-award winning book: “A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness.”

Since completing her doctorate at the University of Cape Town, Professor Gobodo-Madikizela has taught, studied, and spoken at academic institutions around the world, focusing on “questions of remorse, empathy, and forgiveness, exploring the role of dialogue when victims, perpetrators, and beneficiaries of gross human rights abuses have to live together.”

Read the 2019 Sir John Graham Lecture & Q+A monograph: 


We gratefully acknowledge the support of the New Zealand Law Foundation for this event. 

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