EFF rejects 'publicity stunt' apology from 'unrepentant' De Klerk

17 February 2020 - 20:27 By Ernest Mabuza
EFF leader Julius Malema and his party disrupted the president's Sona on February 13 over the presence of former president FW de Klerk in the National Assembly.
EFF leader Julius Malema and his party disrupted the president's Sona on February 13 over the presence of former president FW de Klerk in the National Assembly.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Monday rejected the FW de Klerk Foundation's apology over its statement that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

The party said former president FW de Klerk must face the full might of the law for "unspeakable crimes" against black people - and have all privileges afforded to him as a former leader of the state stripped.

"As the EFF, we reject the apology as one that lacks sincerity and relevance, as the individual who was the source of these hateful views remains unrepentant on his comments and avoids accountability by using a foundation which bears his name," said the EFF in a statement.

The foundation on Monday apologised for a statement it issued on Friday last week in response to criticism from the EFF at the start of the state of the nation address (Sona).

The EFF disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa's address, demanding that De Klerk be kicked out of the event as he had "blood on his hands".

The foundation on Friday said the idea that apartheid was a crime against humanity was and remained an "agitprop" project initiated by the former Soviet Union and the ANC-SACP alliance "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".

Following criticism from various quarters, the foundation withdrew its statement on Monday.

In its statement rejecting the withdrawal, the EFF said it believed that the time for empty promises as a means of reconciliation was over.

"Apologies for the brutality black South Africans have experienced has taken various forms in South Africa, with all of them being publicity stunts," said the party.

"There must be a decisive move from efforts of reconciliation to justice, as justice is the only form of recourse that can be taken against those who refuse to repent for the evils they have committed."

The EFF said the acceptance of apologies without justice was the reason why black South Africans found themselves landless, undermined and on the outskirts of the economy.

"It is the acceptance of apologies from people who never apologised that inspired De Klerk to declare with confidence that the segregation of black people, their humiliation, dispossession and racist separate development were not crimes against the humanity of the black people."

For true reconciliation to be achieved, the party said men who perpetuated unspeakable crimes against black people - like De Klerk - must face the might of the law.

"He must be ostracised from the project of a new and equal South Africa and have all privileges afforded to him as a former leader of the state stripped. The state De Klerk led was collapsed and so must all respect he is afforded."


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