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Alex Boraine

The Order of the Baobab in

Alex Boraine Awarded for:
For his excellent contribution to the field of social justice and being a courageous proponent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Profile of Alex Boraine

Alex Boraine was born in 1931 in Cape Town. Boraine studied Theology at Oxford University in England, and Drew University in the United States of America (USA). In 1970 he was appointed as President of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, a position he held for two years. He then was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Progressive Party in 1974. He resigned in 1986 and together with Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert, founded the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (Idasa), which organised the 1987 meeting with African National Congress (ANC) leaders in Dakar, in Senegal.

From 1986 to 1995, Boraine headed two South African non-profit organisations concerned with ending apartheid and addressing the legacy it left behind. He is known for proposing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as being its vice chair alongside Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, from 1996 to 1998.

From 1998 to early-2001, he served as Professor of Law at New York University (NYU) and as Director of the NYU Law School’s Justice in Transition programme.

Boraine was a founder and President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in New York, USA in 2001. He returned to South Africa to take over as Chairperson of the ICTJ, Cape Town branch in June 2004.

Boraine has travelled to many countries that are in transition from dictatorships to democracy, at the invitation of governments and non-governmental organisations, to share the South African experience.

In October 2000 Boraine was awarded the President’s Medal for Human Rights in Italy.

In November 2000, Boraine published, A Country Unmasked, and in 2008 his biography, A life in transition.