One of the striking elements of the negotiated collapse of apartheid is the agreement reached between the various parties that the Constitution ought to be complemented and supported by a public process of national reconciliation. There would be no general amnesty for the security-forces assassins, but there would be no witch-hunt either. Instead, it was agreed-and this remains today a singular feat-that national unity was to be achieved by exposing the crimes of apartheid through the work of an independent commission; perpetrators and victims would be allowed to come forward and to narrate, in their own words, why they committed exactions and how they suffered.