Thuli Madonsela's FW de Klerk tribute splits Mzansi
As reactions to the death of FW de Klerk pour in on social media, former public protector Thuli Madonsela's tribute has sparked debate online.
De Klerk died on Thursday at his home in Cape Town at the age of 85. His death was confirmed in a statement by his foundation.
“It is with the deepest sadness that the FW de Klerk Foundation must announce that former president FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier this [Thursday] morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.”
Considered the last white ruler of SA, De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with Nelson Mandela “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic SA”.
He ruled over the final years of apartheid between 1989 and 1994. His legacy has been the subject of fierce debate on social media after his death.
Among those paying tribute to De Klerk was Madonsela, who said her “heart goes out” to his widow Elita, family and friends.
She claimed it “took courage and the choice of hope over fear to cross the Rubicon entailed in the release of Nelson Mandela, unbanning political parties and enter into constitutional negotiations”.
She also shared a video of an ailing De Klerk apologising for his role in apartheid, asking what restitution for apartheid should look like.
“'I, without qualification, apologise for the pain and the hurt and the indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to black, brown and Indians in SA' — last message from FW de Klerk. If we agree, what should restitution to all look like?” Madonsela asked.
While some shared her sentiments and added their thoughts on her comments, others disagreed with her analysis of De Klerk's life.
Her relationship with the former president was brought up, with EFF leader Julius Malema offering his “condolences” to her.
You're wrong on this Professor. It took no courage. He saw the system was done. He had benefitted from it immensely. He did what he did to save his skin. He deserves no praise. Not at all.— Andile Ntuli (@AndyMcDusty) November 11, 2021
Thank you Professor for mourning with those that are mourning and celebrating the good that the man did.— Kudakwashe Chamisa (@kudakwashecham2) November 11, 2021
He didn't retravt his words that apartheid was a crime against humanity, so it is difficult to find sincerity in this apology. In short, "mine ngibambe lentulo Prof", you'll explain to the rest what that what that means. Ngibona ngatsi uyasicaphata ngale video— 🇿🇦Wonderful🇸🇩🇸🇩 (@Mlandzeni1) November 12, 2021
People died, families were torn apart and children born today are still affected by the legacy of that evil system. Justice has not been served mam'Thuli. It's not yet uhuru, so some of us can't just forgive and forget— Des (@Mdesnaro) November 11, 2021
Wow. I always knew you were the epitome of class and diplomacy. M’am, you are truly an inspiration and a vision of what this great country can become.— Ilse Smalberger (@Ilse123) November 11, 2021
As much as others acknowledge but majority don't want to acknowledge. And as much as I or we accept the apology. On the msg I was expecting to hear him to saying my Fondation will do 1,2, 3 to try to heal the wounds. But dololo— Bra Wood (@ll0101) November 12, 2021