This study attempts to answer the question: Has the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission succeeded in coping with the legacy of gross human rights violations? It seeks to clarify how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission worked to reconcile the urgent need to achieve political stability and yet build civil peace with the duty of coming to terms with the "truth"– and chose a middle ground between punitive justice and comprehensive amnesty. It surmises that the Commission was relatively successful in extricating South Africa from the furnace of destructive and bloody conflict and achieving political stability. Thus, it was so able to offset preoccupation with turning the page on the past with the duty of not forgetting. However, the experience of transitional justice in South Africa also suffered from shortcomings affecting its ability to mend the worn social fabric, and so create a lasting peace.