Former South African president, FW de Klerk, has withdrawn his comments that denied that the system of Apartheid was a crime against humanity.
In an interview following de Klerk’s controversial statements denying that the system of Apartheid was a crime against humanity, he claimed it to be a “blatant lie” that he is an Apartheid apologist.
Furthermore, the De Klerk foundation released a statement on its Facebook page saying that it supports the definition of Apartheid according to the 1998 Rome Statute, which defines it as a crime against humanity
“The FW de Klerk Foundation supports this provision. It can also be seen as the legislative expression of Nelson Mandela’s statement during his inaugural address that “never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another,” the statement read.
The last white president of South Africa, who shared the 1993 Nobel Prize with Nelson Mandela in recognition of their successful negotiations to dismantle the system of Apartheid made headlines two weeks ago after denying that Apartheid could be defined as a crime against humanity in an statement reported on News24.
“The idea that apartheid was ‘a crime against humanity’ was, and remains, an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity – which have generally included totalitarian repression and the slaughter of millions of people,” claimed the statement from the De Klerk Foundation, shortly after the country celebrated the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
The 83-year-old claimed that the United Nations has fallen short of defining the system as a crime against humanity, which has shaped his opinion on the matter – citing the UK and the USA’s opposition to it, both being permanent members of the UN security council. Former President, Thabo Mbeki, announced that he would send Mr de Klerk a copy of the relevant UN convention and that he was shocked to learn from de Klerk “actually did not know” about its existence.
Furthermore, the Desmond Tutu foundation has released its own statement, saying that de Klerk’s comments are “a blatant whitewash [which]… flies in the face of our commitments to reconciliation and nation building.”
“It is incumbent on former leaders of the white community… to demonstrate the courage… necessary to contribute to societal healing,” the statement continued.
De Klerk’s comments drew more headlines in parliament after he attended the State of the Nation Address last week and was asked to be removed from the proceedings by EFF leader, Julius Malema, who branded the former president as “apartheid apologist… with blood on his hands”. He opened his statement at the address by claiming “we have a murderer in the House”. Malema’s arguments with President Cyril Ramaphosa drew on for and hour and a half.