Abstract This thesis explores the relationship between reconciliation and justice in a situation of conflict. The process of healing and forgiving is central in many processes of reconciliation and often understood as a prerequisite for lasting peace. However, it is also recognised that a reconciliation process or peacebuilding must also pay attention to satisfy needs, bring security, provide reasonable standards of living and bring recognition of identity and worth in order to avoid a relapse into conflict and violence. South Africa has been viewed as a success story with regard to transitional democracy and reconciliation. Its long history of segregation and discrimination was terminated in 1994 by a democratic election. And questions of how to deal with the past were answered by the institutionalisation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), whose task was to facilitate national reconciliation. This thesis discus how the focus upon reconciliation as healing and forgiving has led to an individualisation of the responsibility for lasting peace. The wrongdoers provide a version of the truth in return for amnesty, while the victims (survivors) are expected to offer forgiveness and accept their loss and relinquish the quest for justice. In this way, reconciliation becomes the responsibility of the victims in the sense that the victims’ ability to forgive is the first predicament of peace. 11 years after the implementation of democracy, South Africa struggles with increasing high crime rates, violence, and widespread poverty and with one of the most unequal distribution of wealth and resources in the world. People have begun to question how sustainable the situation in South Africa is. Sustainable peace is challenged daily by social inequalities, violence and poverty, fuelled by prevailing structures where race and class coincide. The majority of black South Africans remains poor whereas the majority of white remains among the affluent and rich. Division lines among people to a greater degree follow the former apartheid segregation. Blacks are still deprived and marginalised. Democratic governance, built on neo-liberal and market principles, is the imperative of International Community’s (IC) answer to peace and security, which have achieved a hegemonic position and thus have become a truism that guides the many peacebuilding operations and conflict termination processes around the globe. However, as the case of South Africa shows, the new democracy is unable to meet the challenges of poverty and inequality, because minimal public budgets hit the poorest segments of society hardest. The poor majority expects and hopes that the democracy will improve their living conditions. Therefore it makes the transition vulnerable. Lack of deliverance of economic and social improvements can undermine the stabilisation and the reconciliation process of the society.Has reconciliation been understood to mean reconciliation to injustice, building on submission and resignation – in other words, learning to live with those things that cannot be changed? Has justice being sacrificed for the benefits of forgiveness and reconciliation? These are some of the wrenching dilemmas this thesis deals with. However, there is argued that both justice and reconciliation are fundamentally significant goals that need to be addressed in the design of successful post-conflict peacebuilding processes and mechanisms. A peace and reconciliation process does not just oblige a change in human behaviour and attitude; it also implies a transaction of society’s institutions, distribution and power structures. Justice makes reconciliation worthwhile. As long as the promises for restorative justice are kept, reconciliation can be sustained.