Various parties have slammed the foundation’s recent comments about apartheid not being a crime against humanity. Former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon is the latest high-profile leader to lambast the FW de Klerk Foundation for entering the fray to defend apartheid, as some organisations call for a Nuremberg-type trial for De Klerk for apartheid atrocities.
Leon, who is former ambassador to Argentina, added his voice to a chorus of criticism from the ANC, the Congress of the People (Cope) and a host of others aimed at De Klerk and his foundation. De Klerk opened a can of worms when he claimed that apartheid was not a crime against humanity and his foundation reiterated that, adding that genocides were worse than the apartheid system.
“I think FW de Klerk was disgracefully abused by the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] in parliament last week. He deserves credit for his 1990 speech, but his foundation has done neither him nor his legacy any good by entering the lists on how apartheid was not a crime against humanity,” Leon said.
“Totem-polling it by suggesting genocides were worse or other systems more depraved simply suggests his previous apologies for apartheid were without proper meaning. The United Nations at the weekend reiterated its declaration that apartheid was a crime against humanity and the ANC challenged De Klerk to research history on the matter, instead of playing ignorance about it.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) harshly lambasted De Klerk for his “racist, inhumane and insensitive utterances”, calling for him to be punished for the apartheid sins. ATM is calling for a Nuremberg-type trial for De Klerk and his ilk for the atrocities committed during apartheid under his watch and arguably under his direct command,” the party said. ATM calls on [the South African Human Rights Commission] to investigate the utterances of De Klerk for hate speech.
The party said De Klerk’s “abhorrent outbursts” flew in the face of the spirit of the constitution, which requires that “apartheid perpetrators like him recognise the injustices of the past”. ATM said De Klerk again hatefully rubbed salt into the wound by confirming his lack of remorse when he described the declaration of apartheid being a crime against humanity as “agitprop”, or political propaganda.
“Put differently, De Klerk is actually saying the killing of our people by his regime was of no consequence and, in fact, that the struggle to liberate the people of South Africa was an illegitimate political crime against his racist regime,” the party said.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe slammed De Klerk, saying that his statement of denial “flies in the face of our commitments to reconciliation and nation-building”.
Cope warned De Klerk to stop opening old wounds “caused by his cruel, evil and illegitimate apartheid government”. Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said: “It is clear that Mr De Klerk does not want to accept the declaration of the United Nations, that apartheid was a crime against humanity. He says it was propaganda of the Soviets. That this is an insult to the millions of people who lost loved ones in the Sharpeville and Boipatong massacres.
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Source: The Citizen