Transitivity and the narrator's role in selected TRC testimonies

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This paper seeks to explore how two different narrators at a hearing of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) represent the same set of events. With the use of analytical concepts and frameworks drawn from Systemic Functional Linguistics, we show how the different narrators' roles and perspectives on the events shape their choice of genre and their construal of experience. The narrators in question are Mr Colin De Souza, a young activist from Bonteheuwel, and his mother, Mrs Dorothy De Souza. Both describe events in the 1980s when Mr De Souza and his family suffered at the hands of the then Security Branch of the South African Police Force.