De Klerk too is a democrat, argues his foundation only no one buys it

F W de Klerk Picture: Gallo Images

Former president FW de Klerk dedicated his presidency to the abolition of apartheid and should not be the victim of attacks on his character, the foundation named after him said today.

“To refer to him as ‘the last apartheid president’ is like calling Abraham Lincoln ‘the last slavery president of the United States,’” the foundation said in a statement.

“The role he played in initiating and facilitating South Africa’s transition to a non-racial democracy is a matter of historic fact and has been confirmed by no less an authority than former president Nelson Mandela,” the statement read.

The reaction by the foundation follows a backlash De Klerk received for his criticism of the current government leadership during the recent dialogue by the former country’s president which included former presidents – Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

During the dialogue De Klerk said South Africa was “experiencing a constitutional crisis” which he blamed on President Jacob Zuma.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said De Klerk should not be part of the dialogue that seeks to find solutions to the country’s problems. He should, instead, be in jail.

“A man who presided over the murder of black people in the early 90s can never find solutions to the problems of South Africa,” Malema said.

However, the foundation has rebutted a claim that De Klerk was involved in gross human rights violations. It said such claims were baseless.

“Despite its diligent investigation of all the evidence before it, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was unable to link him with any such action,” the foundation said.

According to the foundation, the backlash against De Klerk were as a result of him speaking out against the violations of the Constitution by the government.

The foundation argued that divisive racial stereotypes could increasingly being propagated by radicals, and that there could be elements within the government who did not believe that that there could be others who could have possibly acted in good faith to seek a peaceful and negotiated solution to the problems of South Africa.

“Finally, De Klerk, more than anyone else, is a reminder that our non-racial constitutional democracy was the co-creation of South Africans from all our communities, including the 69% of white South Africans who supported him in the referendum of March 1992.

“For many radicals, it is unacceptable that white South Africans also played an honourable role in the establishment of our new society,” the foundation said, adding it would oppose the “new racism ” which it argued had been propagated by Zuma and some radical elements within the government and other radical organisations.

However, the bulk of twitter users are not buying the Foundations attempted defence of its namesake.

-TNA Reporter