South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela has expressed her “heartbreak” at the African National Congress’ (ANC) apparent defence of apartheid’s last President FW de Klerk’s presence at Thursday’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament.
Mandela is the daughter of former President Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Winnie Mandela.
On Thursday evening, she shared a picture of Winnie Mandela being arrested by apartheid police.
‘What do we stand for?’
She accompanied it with the caption, “As a loyal and dedicated member of @MYANC I am heartbroken. This happened to my Mother and many others under De Klerk’s watch.
“According to his interview, he justified this, therefore saying that that my Mother and others deserved this aggression. What do we stand for?”
Mandela was referring to a recent SABC News interview of de Klerk in which he argued that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
He said, “There’s a difference between calling something a crime, like genocide is a crime, [but] apartheid cannot be. That’s why I’m saying it cannot be, for instance, compared with genocide.”
EFF kicks off furore
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) kicked off the controversy on Thursday when its leader Julius Malema objected to de Klerk’s presence in Parliament during SONA.
However, Speaker of National Assembly Thandi Modise insisted that de Klerk was invited as per tradition and therefore rejected Malema’s demand that he be asked to leave Parliament.
ANC MPs appeared to applaud Modise’s decision. Speaking to SABC News after SONA’s conclusion, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule also said EFF’s demand was “uncalled for.”
He said, “It is true that apartheid is a crime against humanity. The United Nations declared apartheid as a crime against humanity. That’s where they [EFF] are right, but to say de Klerk must get out of the House, I think, that was uncalled for.”
Addressing the media after Parliament was briefly suspended, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa also insisted that de Klerk was “going nowhere.”
After more than an hour’s delay, the EFF eventually left Parliament voluntarily after failing in its mission to have de Klerk removed and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa.