De Klerk honoured by boulevard renaming

2015-02-05 23:27
Former president FW de Klerk (AFP)

Former president FW de Klerk (AFP)

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

Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk on Thursday hailed the renaming of a Cape Town road in his honour as a tribute to all those who helped form South Africa's constitutional democracy.

"I would like to thank you all for the great honour that you have bestowed upon me by deciding to rename Table Bay Boulevard in my honour," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the renaming ceremony.

He thanked those who initiated the renaming and secured the support of prominent Capetonians, including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

De Klerk said he did not seek out the honour.

"I was also not at all sure that places and streets should be renamed after living people - and particularly after living former politicians!

"...I see this honour - not in the first place as a tribute to me - but as an acknowledgement of the contribution that so many parties, institutions and people made to the creation of our new non-racial constitutional democracy."

After much debate on the proposed renaming of Table Bay Boulevard, the office of the city's mayor Patricia de Lille last month said it would change it to FW de Klerk Boulevard.

De Klerk, 79, was president from September 1989 to May 1994. He was last head of state of South Africa under the apartheid era. In 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with struggle icon Nelson Mandela for their role in ending apartheid.

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe on Tuesday spoke out in support of Table Bay Boulevard being renamed after his counterpart De Klerk, after struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada said he had no objection to the change.

Cosatu provincial secretary in the Western Cape Tony Ehrenreich last month said the Cape Town city council was wrongly dividing honours equally between Mandela and De Klerk, as the former was a liberator and the latter "an architect of apartheid".

In remarks published on Tuesday, Kathrada, a Rivonia trialist and close friend of Mandela, said he had no objections to the renaming and believed it would be wrong not to acknowledge De Klerk's historical role.

On Thursday De Klerk said it was "essential" to contradict attempts from some quarters to re-write history to the effect that the ANC alone created South Africa's democracy.

"Anyone who was present at the constitutional negotiations during the early 90s will realise how untrue this is - and how central the contribution of all the participating parties was to the success of our process."


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. 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


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
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.