"We cannot deny the past mistakes. Therefore, we need to promote a national reconciliation as the people of South Africa have done," he said here on Friday in response to a question on General (ret) Wirantos statement on Prabowos role in an alleged human rights violation.
Promotion of national reconciliation was necessary so that this nation will no longer be trapped in the sins of the past, he said.
The allegation that Prabowo was involved in the abduction of a number of prodemocracy and human rights activists in 1998 remains debatable, he said.
If Prabowo was accused of human rights violation in 1998 as a result of the political situation at that time, he had only played a minor role compared with those who have committed human rights violation in Indonesia, he said.
According to Mahfud, Wiranto, commander of the Indonesian military (1998-1999), was responsible for the human rights violations in the cases of East Timor and military operation in Aceh.
Wiranto, who supports the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla pair ahead of the July 9 presidential election, reported at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday that the dismissal of Prabowo from the military was due to his involvement in the kidnapping of prodemocracy activists.
Besides Wiranto, Gen. (ret) AM Hendropriyono was also involved in human rights violation, Mahfud MD said.
In the cases of gross human rights violations that happened before and after the Indonesian Communist Partys (PKI) coup in 1965, presidents Soekarno and Soeharto were responsible for the death of lots of people, he said.
Therefore, in resolving those cases, Mahfud has urged the Indonesian society to promote a national reconciliation.
The Prabowo-Hatta pair will compete with the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla duo in the election.
(Reported by Joko Susilo/Uu.R013/INE/KR-BSR/A014)