A defiant FW de Klerk Foundation has responded to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) dramatic antics at Thursday’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament.
EFF leader Julius Malema led demands for de Klerk, apartheid’s last President, to be asked to leave Parliament’s chambers.
Malema cited a recent SABC News interview in which de Klerk insisted that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. His demands delayed the start of SONA, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
In a statement on Friday evening, the FW de Klerk Foundation stuck to its guns, saying it was the then Soviet Union that had pushed for the United Nations resolution declaring apartheid a crime against humanity in 1966.
It said, “The idea that apartheid was ‘a crime against humanity’ was, and remains, an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity.”
“Agitprop” refers to political propaganda and was commonly associated with with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The Foundation claimed 23,000 people lost their lives through “political violence” in apartheid South Africa between 1960 and 1994. Of these, it claimed “fewer than” 5,000 were at the hands of security forces.
‘No evidence implicating de Klerk’
The Foundation contrasted these figures with those who lost their lives in the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and and the liberation war in Algeria. It put forward figures of 320,000 and 140,000 respectively.
It added, “John Allen, a close associate of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, acknowledges in his book Rabble Rouser for Peace that ‘no evidence was ever forthcoming (at the TRC) implicating de Klerk in violence.’
“It is ironic that Julius Malema, who launched the vitriolic attack on de Klerk, threatened to commit a real crime against humanity when he said on 7 November 2016 that, ‘We are not calling for the slaughtering of white people – at least not now.'”
The Foundation continued, “We have seen his kind before: those who wear colour-coded uniforms; who use bully boy tactics to disrupt democratic processes; who whip up race hatred and call their leaders ‘Führer, or Duce, or Commander in Chief.'”
EFF’s demands on Thursday put the African National Congress (ANC) on the back foot and created an impression that it was defending de Klerk’s presence in Parliament.
Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of former President Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Winnie Mandela, was among those who questioned the ANC’s stance. She tweeted, “As a loyal and dedicated member of @MYANC I am heartbroken.”
To read the Foundation’s statement in full, click here.