It was a privilege to help make the change: De Klerk

2015-02-03 11:19
Former president FW de Klerk (AFP)

Former president FW de Klerk (AFP)

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25 years since unbanning of political parties; social media weighs in

2015-02-02 16:02

25 years ago today, former South African president FW de Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC, PAC, SACP and other liberation organisations. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - It had been his privilege to “jump through the window” of political change in South Africa and deliver the reform speech on 2 February 1990 which swept away apartheid, former president FW de Klerk said on Tuesday.

At the start of a conference at the FW de Klerk Foundation in Cape Town on upholding a constitutional democracy in South Africa the former president said the fall of the Soviet Union and its loss of appetite to fuel wars in southern Africa helped significantly to open the that political window.

Tuesday also marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking speech.

In the speech in Parliament, he had emphasised the principles of an inclusive multi-party democracy, universal franchise, “no domination”, and minority and individual rights.

“(It was) my privilege to jump through that window and open negotiations on a new Constitution.”

While South Africa today is a proud member of the international community, there are some problems, said De Klerk.

This includes rampant crime, corruption in high places, a hugely under-performing education system and a significant HIV/Aids problem.

The former president singled out current President Jacob Zuma for criticism.

It was “patently indefensible” to have spent R246m on “security upgrades” at Nkandla, said De Klerk.

The parole of Shabir Shaik - one of the president’s “friends” - showed that some were “not as subject to the rule of law as others”.

Read more on:    fw de klerk  |  cape town

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