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We Want What's Ours: Learning from South Africa's Land Restitution Program

  • Publication: Oxford University Press

2014, Bernadette Atuahene, Oxford University Press

Cover of We Want What

We Want What’s Ours is a detailed study of South Africa’s attempts to rectify the deprivation of land suffered by thousands of people under the colonial and apartheid regimes. It teaches a critical lesson about these transitions: remedying past wrongs entails more than distributing money or even returning property, because the dispossessed did not just lose their possessions, they also had their dignity taken from them. A comprehensive remedy for these ‘dignity takings’ involves confronting the underlying dehumanization, infantilization, and political exclusion that enabled the dispossession. That is, it requires ‘dignity restoration’ – a remedy based on principles of restorative justice that seeks to rehabilitate the dispossessed and reintegrate them into the fabric of society.

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