‘Sick joke’ — Carl Niehaus and others weigh in on De Klerk mourning period and state memorial service
Social media was flooded with reactions on Tuesday after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national period of mourning for late former president FW de Klerk.
De Klerk died last Thursday at his home in Cape Town at the age of 85. His death was confirmed in a statement by his foundation.
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”.
As a mark of respect for De Klerk, Ramaphosa declared that the national flag would be flown at half-mast from sunset on Wednesday until the evening of November 21.
Acting presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said a state memorial service will be announced by government at a later stage.
“Government has consulted the De Klerk family and FW de Klerk Foundation as part of preparing for this event in which government leaders, leaders of political parties and representatives of civil society will participate,” said Seale.
De Klerk's legacy has been the subject of fierce debate on social media after his death, with many suggesting they would disrupt a state funeral or memorial service if it was held in his honour.
Controversial former ANC staffer Carl Niehaus was among those who weighed in on the decision, saying Ramaphosa should be ashamed of himself for making such an announcement.
“Cyril Ramaphosa, are you serious? This is a sick joke,” he wrote, adding that he would “not in a million years mourn De Klerk for one second.”
Here are some reactions on social media:
Why can't Ramaphosa just mourn De Klerk alone without South Africans. Surely he can leave us out of this— Standing for Justice (@gmalau32) November 16, 2021
Thank you President Cyril Ramaphosa for declaring a four-day mourning period for South Africa’s Former President FW de Klerk. National flags to be flown at half-mast. De Klerk was a giant. I rank him amongst the most important, fine statesmen of the 20th century.— Phumlani M. Majozi (@PhumlaniMMajozi) November 16, 2021
We Do Not Recognise Any Mourning Period for De Klerk. There is no need for it, he does not deserve to be mourned. The victims of Boipatong Massacre never got the mourning they deserved. Many still have scars and traumas from regime.— ☭ Mmaps_T (@Melanin_Mmaps) November 16, 2021
Sad to see how angry people are... Let's build bridges, not destroy them!?— Rick Grobler (@GroblerRick) November 16, 2021
It's easier to point a finger at the past, than to acknowledge the mess and thievery the current government is involved in. Mandela and Die Klerk worked as brothers to stop apartheid. Let's give credit where it is due.— Denyse Knipe (@denyse_knipe) November 17, 2021