"This special issue of the African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) on the theme Then and now: Perspectives on conflict resolution in South Africa (in honour of H.W. van der Merwe) is unconventional in that most of the contributions are a combination of academic deliberation, historical overview and analysis, as well as personal reflections. Moreover, it is also unusual in having two main sections. The first contains a number of more academically oriented articles that reflect on the history of South Africa prior to the end of apartheid and the role that especially H.W. van der Merwe played as one of the earliest conflict resolution theorists and practitioners in South Africa, as well as a few reflections on the current state of South Africa and some prevailing concerns. That is followed by a number of personal tributes to H.W. van der Merwe as they relate to his role and influence in an historic period in South Africa’s history, reflections that in some cases become a mixture of personal and theoretical contemplations and appreciations."