Still long way to go for equality - De Klerk

2014-07-29 15:33
Former president and Nobel Peace prize laureate F W de Klerk imprints his feet at Maropeng Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Krugersdorp. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Former president and Nobel Peace prize laureate F W de Klerk imprints his feet at Maropeng Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Krugersdorp. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk on Tuesday said he hopes his footprints will remind people of the long journey towards equality that still lies ahead.

"I hope my footprint will show that this is an unfinished journey for all of us in the pursuit of an equal life for our people," he said at the Maropeng Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, where imprints of his feet were made in clay.

The 78-year-old former president spent most of the day touring the site and hearing about the history of the earth and evolution of humankind.

De Klerk said South Africans were lucky to have the site, north-west of Johannesburg, which holds one third of the world's fossils.

He spoke about the first Homo sapiens's ability to adapt to change.

De Klerk said they were able to imagine things that did not yet exist and changed their environment accordingly.

"That is when we left other species behind and became human. According to Charles Darwin, the success of a species is not defined by their relative strength or intelligence, but by their ability to adapt to change," he said.

The ability to deal with change had been humankind's competitive advantage. The ability to manage change was still a critical factor for mankind.

"Twenty years ago we South Africans were able to manage one of the greatest change processes of the 20th century. We transformed our society from the divisions of the past to a new era based on non-racial constitutional democracy.

"Since then we have resumed our place in the international community. We have seen our economy grow by more than 200%," he said.

Change was a never-ending process.

He said the country continued to face problems everyone needed to help solve.

"We must work together to improve our dysfunctional education system and ensure that everyone emerges from school or university with a decent education. We must take effective steps to promote equality since it is now clear that our present approach is not working. We must continue to work for a society based on our core constitutional values of equality, human dignity... non-racialism and non-sexism," said De Klerk.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    fw de klerk  |  johannesburg
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Tuilagi gets punishment cut
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Wales look to Biggar for big impact
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.