South Africa: Will the Truth Out?

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Truth will set you free? Not in South Africa, where a former president is working frantically to stop the truth from being set free. F.W. De Klerk, the last apartheid leader, went to court Tuesday in a bid to stop the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission from releasing its 3,500-page report on Thursday. De Klerk is unhappy that the commission, which has conducted an exhaustive three-year inquest into apartheid-era human rights violations, names him as an accessory after the fact to bomb attacks by the security forces. On the other side of the divide, Mandela's African National Congress is reportedly unhappy about the Truth Commission's report that it tortured suspected traitors and committed other abuses.

The bottom line? "The Truth Commission isn't going to leave anyone feeling particularly satisfied," says TIME South Africa bureau chief Peter Hawthorne. "Next comes the agonizing debate about whether the process was worthwhile." Then again, that's to be expected: South Africa has a painful history, and the truth was bound to hurt.