City of Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has said apartheid’s last President FW de Klerk is not welcome at his State of the City Address.
De Klerk sparked controversy earlier this month when, during an interview with SABC News, he said apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
This is despite the United Nations adopting a convention in 1973 declaring it a crime against humanity.
‘No legislature will trick me’
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) delayed the start of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday last week with demands that de Klerk should be asked to leave Parliament’s chambers.
Parliament’s presiding officers rejected EFF’s demand on grounds that de Klerk had been invited according to standard protocol.
The FW de Klerk Foundation compounded the crisis by supporting de Klerk’s comments in a statement on Friday.
In a tweet on Sunday, Masina wrote, “De Klerk is not welcomed to the State of the City’s Address to be delivered by me. No legislature will trick me on protocol. @MYANC has spoken on apartheid.”
Pule Mabe echoes Masina’s decision
Masina is also the African Nation Congress chairperson in Ekurhuleni region. The ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, echoed his decision in an interview with Sakina Kamwendo on SABC News on Monday.
Mabe said, “Our own structures – Premiers, Mayors in all provinces – have begun even writing on their social media pages indicating that they will not be inviting de Klerk to their own State of the Province Addresses.”
In another interview with eNCA on Monday, Mabe added that Parliament should consider not inviting de Klerk to future SONAs.
He said Parliament’s presiding officers should “take strong actions that suggest that if there is this kind of denialism, there is no way that they will continue to associate with those that deny that there has been a groundswell of attack on the integrity and standing of our people through a system called apartheid.”
Mabe also said there are growing calls within the ANC for government to reconsider extending privileges to de Klerk.
“There is an outcry out there by the public where some of our members are even asking if we shouldn’t be stripping Mr de Klerk of some of the privileges that he continues to enjoy, especially including the reference that is being made to him as a former leader of the Republic of South Africa,” he explained.