ANC protestors demonstrate outside the courtroom

It has been 13 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa and nine years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to heal racial divisions, presented its last report.

But last week's trial of Adriaan Vlok, the former minister of law and order during apartheid, has sparked fears that reconciliation could be blown apart.

Vlok became the only senior politician from the apartheid
regime to be convicted for apartheid-era crimes. He will not be going to prison as a plea bargain ensured his sentence was suspended. But the verdict was not as controversial as the trial itself.

There were two groups outside the courtroom; those who think the former white rulers are literally getting away with murder and those who see this new trial as a political witch hunt.

Inside Story asks if there is a real danger of old wounds being re-opened in South Africa.

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This episode of Inside Story aired on Tuesday 21 August 2007

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