'De Klerk must retract comments'

2012-05-12 14:21

Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk must retract comments he made in a CNN interview, the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) said on Saturday.

"Casac condemns in the strongest terms the reckless attempts by former president FW de Klerk to justify and defend the apartheid system," it said.

"The very notion of 'separate development' was at the centre of the apartheid ideology, and was predicated on notions of racist supremacy as was Nazism."

Casac chairperson Sipho Pityana said De Klerk's comments made a "mockery" of his claims of being committed to fostering a democratic South Africa.

"Indeed the preamble of the Constitution calls on us to 'recognise the injustices of our past' and to 'heal the divisions of the past'," he said.

"De Klerk's comments during the CNN interview constitute a blunt repudiation of these invocations. We urge him to retract these statements in their entirety."

De Klerk was interviewed by the global news network at a summit of Nobel laureates in Chicago on Thursday night, The Times reported.

He discussed his "historical antagonism" and current friendship with former president Nelson Mandela, the failure of the apartheid system, and the shortcomings of the current government.

When asked whether he agreed that apartheid was morally repugnant, he said: "In as much as it trampled human rights it was and remains morally indefensible."

However, De Klerk then reportedly said about the homeland system: "But the concept of giving, as the Czechs have it now, and the Slovaks have it, of saying that ethnic unity with one culture with one language [everyone] can be happy and can fulfil their democratic aspirations in an own state, that is not repugnant."

He denied that blacks in the homelands were disenfranchised.

"They were not disenfranchised, they voted. They were not put in homelands, the homelands were historically there. If only the developed world would put so much money into Africa, which is struggling with poverty, as we poured into those homelands. How many universities were built? How many schools?" he asked.

"At that stage the goal was separate but equal, but separate but equal failed." He said he later became "a convert" against the system.

When he asked about the state of South Africa's democracy De Klerk reportedly said: "I'm convinced it's a solid democracy and it will remain so, but it's not a healthy democracy."

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Friday that De Klerk's comments were "unfortunate and disappointing".

It also undermined the work he did in pursuing reconciliation for the country.

"While Mr De Klerk rightfully acknowledges that apartheid was morally indefensible, he too must recognise that the entire concept of racial division through 'separate but equal' bantustans was an insult to the dignity of black South Africans," she said in a statement.

"It resulted not only in the most extreme form of asset stripping, but deprived millions of South Africans of their sense of belonging."

She said he was an important figure in "our peaceful transition to democracy, and the building of our rainbow nation".

"We urge him once again to occupy this space, as he did in 1994, to use his words to create hope and unity."

In the 1950s the apartheid government divided the black population of the country according to ethnic groups or tribes and assigned them to separate regions, which were dubbed ethnic homelands, or bantustans.

The ten bantustans were Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa, Qwaqwa, Transkei, and Venda.

  • Gerhard1Marais - 2012-05-12 14:32

    Hey CASAC go shove it!

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-05-12 14:43

      Did CASAC tell the ANC to withdraw their comments, when they said there were too many coloureds in the Western Cape. Either be consistant or Shut up !

      chris.debeer1 - 2012-05-12 14:43

      OK OK APARTHEID IS AND WAS A SIN!!!However 20 years on my black countrymen can stil not own title to land in so called rural areas as it is under traditional leaders that was nothing more than puppets of apartheid so please correct the here and now. GET RID OF these chiefs and kings and give the land to the people!!! It is time we move on!!

      Gestoffle - 2012-05-12 15:32

      Where was CASAC when KFC licker was singing "kill the boer" ?

      Oscar - 2012-05-12 16:12

      Gerald, it seems like you are a rural boytjie. To buy land means you receive the title deed to the land. In rural areas you give the chief a bottle of brandy and R2K and you can build you mud hut or tin most instances the land is in a trust and you bribe the chief for the right to live on the land, you don't own it.

      Oscar - 2012-05-12 17:44

      Gerald and there I thought you were the common garden variety. So now my intelligent friend, try to sell that piece of rural title deed you own...good luck with that.

      chris.debeer1 - 2012-05-12 18:24

      Dear Gerald Let me Spell it out for you. People do not own the title to the land therefore they can not get bonds loans ect to develop the land. Thus leading to I ever increasing cycle of poverty. While we as taxpayers have to pay for kings and chiefs and traditional leaders that are nothing more than relics of the colonial system(Apartheid0 While the fast majority of rural black people stay impoverished by the fact that they do not have title to the land. Clearly you must be a traditional leader not to understand this. Rely hope I clarified it for you. If you have any other queries on this matter you are more than welcome to contact me via FB so I can enlighten you!!!

      Gestoffle - 2012-05-12 19:10

      Okay stop are both right and both wrong....lets call it back to more important issues.....did you check that chap riding the moerse world record wave....BUT did anybody see the p00p trail following behind him though?

      mike.clery - 2012-05-12 19:30

      @Gerald - re: rural land issues. This is worth reading

      Gieljam - 2012-05-13 08:05

      Since when is the want for self rule and separate development Racism ? The word Racism has been used out of context in order to hide the truth. When a government can object to a court order that the singing of blatant racist struggle songs and nothing is said about that by CASAC .

      Eduannn - 2012-05-13 09:18

      It was an interview not a speech! (Maybe we should blame the interviewer for asking such questions !) But at least FW answered the questions honestly as to how HE saw it before , during and after Apartheid (in hindsight he says). I bet you if an interviewer asked Zuma this question : "How do you see the issue of the current slaughter of farmers in SA and how do you propose to end it?" - he would evade the question completely.

      Pierre - 2012-05-13 11:57

      It is good that de Klerk is finally criticized for his veiled justifications of Apartheid. It’s not the first time. In the late 90's he said the "new South Africa" is worse than the Apartheid’s one. That was a blatant lie to justify Apartheid. For one in justifying Apartheid to prevent things from deteriorating even more. Also in my opinion that was a racist mindset and two it was a blatant lie that things were getting worse, a lie many South Africans still hung onto today.

      Pierre - 2012-05-13 13:42

      Most people missed the point why some are upset about FW’s “homeland” comment. The homelands were not similar to what FW compared to the “Czechs”. He was very deceitful here; the “Czechs” he referred too, are not second rate citizens when they cross into the “other” areas. The homelands were a ruse to strip black people of basic rights when people crossed the border into the RSA “proper”. The homelands were directly instrumental in Apartheid and the degradation of a large group of people in this country. To defend the homeland system is to defend part of Apartheid. That is why people are upset, and not because everybody has gone wild with being PC.

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-13 18:33

      The afrikaners want a separate homeland and desperately want to be self essence the white minority want to be polarised. Why not allow a minority that constitutional right. The ANC are gormless faeces and we want nothing to do with them.

      SaintBruce - 2012-05-13 19:17

      Obviously none of the detractors on this blog have studied the separation of India as engineered by Lord Louis Mountbatten - yet no one called that system 'apartheid' - which it was! It was based on cultural and religious differences and seperate development of each state created [ India, Pakistan, Bangladesh ] was allowed to take place at great cost to the people but some measure of success resulted. The same process was followed in the former Czech state which was cut up along similar lines - ethnicity, culture and religious beliefs - to result in peace for ordinary citizens. What is interesting is that the Nationalist Party did not move people into one spot but created splintered Homelands where the people lived to see how they handled having even a basic form of democracy. They didn't handle it very well but it is not to say it could not have worked or should have been attempted. Such ideas have worked elsewhere, so why not here? Is it what we see our 'liberation movement' government doing now to this country that was commented on by outsiders long before the asset stripping personal enrichment contest began from the top down? Just a thought. The concept of apartheid was brought to South Africa by the British after what they observed during their rule in India. It also suited the asset stripping objective of the effeminate Cecil John Rhodes. Politics and money are always bedfellows. Their goal? Power.

      jody.beggs - 2012-05-14 07:34

      I'm tired of the attitude the "whites" can only be racist. When Zuma sings "shoot the boer" , will he be there protecting the minority ? Of course not its not a BEE or AA enough for them.. Damn the cANCer man.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-05-12 14:32

    Sanity has left the country.

      Gestoffle - 2012-05-12 19:20

      @Michael - My sentiments (exactly to your comment) are that if the right person for the job was selected everytime - I am talking at the apex as well, SA would be thriving......however if you understand me here......crime would be 1000x worse....I hope we on the same wavelength?

      Gestoffle - 2012-05-12 21:44

      Yip Mike - Very good answer. For me you cannot circumvent experience either. What also makes company's successful, is the desire from its employees to climb the corporate ladder, work hard, get a head, etc. That spin-off will take that company higher. But if those employees don't have that desire or passion and get everything on a silver platter....well I think that is tickets then. If I started a business and needed a partner, i want that partner for what they can contribute. A bumble BEE partner is like carting a hippo around; it contributes nothing and eats buckets (kfc) of food..... Somehow, we have to box clever. We can make a plan, we always do - it is also in our nature.

  • Leon - 2012-05-12 14:34

    Apartheid was wrong. Seperate devlopment is a good system just as Socialism is a good system. If you implement them right it works. Unfortunately we had idiots that had to implement it. The problem came when they downgraded the people of colour. They were suppose to uplift them. The idea was to have cultural and own language schooling and universities and colleges. That is where the problem came in. Also the uprootment was wrong. There is merit to it, again if it was imp[lemented correctly.

  • Nicholas - 2012-05-12 14:42

    It's disgraceful how many people have taken the news reports at face value and have disregarded the subsequent reports of his being misquoted. Come on, doesn't anyone think it's suspicious that FW would publically condone a system he dismantled? Has society become so starved for sensationalism that people latch onto any negative news about a public figure as undisputed fact?

  • Chrissie - 2012-05-12 14:48

    And here goes the whole apartheid/racism B/S all over again!! Before the new government came into power the people had jobs, money, education was at a high standard (you had to an average of at least 55% to pass a subject ON YOUR OWN, not it's as low as 33% and it's a group effort), the police did their jobs so nobody feared for their lives just by driving to Spar to buy a liter of milk, where as all that gone?? A lot of the people that lived in those homeland areas agree that it was better, they had their own little country to rule, they had food, jobs, schools for the children, security was better, but because they mismanaged the system and funds(like what happens now) they HAD to take the rest of SA as well...... nothing to do with racism NO it's about power and money, go have a look at the rest of Africa, it's just the same old story over and over again. The same happened in Kenia, Namibia, Zimbabwe. Why do they want to nationalize the mines, take the farmers land? Will there ever be an end to all of this???

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 02:13

      Ah, the good old days, when you had to go through metal detectors to get to the Spar, when every white boy spent two years in the army, some of them in townships without a clue what they were doing. Rose tinted spectacles and no, you did not need an average of 55% to pass, standard grade needed 35%, higher grade 40%. I too am tired of all the racism that we don't seem able to leave behind, the burgeoning corruption but it is a damn sight better than being a citizen of a pariah state and going to the Wimpy doesn't threaten to cost me an arm or a leg. If FW was stupid enough to defend apartheid by claiming separate but equal was a valid strategy he is a damn fool and deserves all the negative comment he attracts. He is seriously in danger of undermining his legacy as a visionary who masterminded the end of the apartheid state. Seriously, what the hell was he thinking? I am not a fan of the ANC but you have to give them credit for doing a pretty good job on raising access to potable water, housing, electricity and, lastly but not least, safeguarding the economy. I detest race based politics and do not approve of FW's defence of apartheid at all as it simply encourages more of the same from the current government.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:16

      Andrew, I think that you must be the one with rose tinted specs. Access to potable water, electricity, safeguarding the economy? Is this the same South Africa I'm living (existing) in? A for going through metal detectors, one seems to need fortifications to live here now.

      Jolene - 2012-05-13 15:50

      You speak the absolute truth, Chrissie. Before 1994 our streets were clean, many more people had jobs, it was safe to drive at night. Traffic officer were respected and plentiful . Policemen honoured their jobs and were respected by citizens. Our children were cared for and protected ...we hardly ever, if ever, read about a child been brutally raped and set alight to die. Pregnant school girls were few and far between... almost unheard of. Now there is talk about arranging for teenage moms to be given opportunity during school hours to breast feed their babies. Gee whizzzz... what's become of our moral values !!! Our society is sick, sick sick !!

  • Melissa - 2012-05-12 14:53

    who cares what de klerk thinks or thought. we have a great future ahead. it might be a bumpy ride right now, but we r getting there. things can change. there are people fighting for the right change in prayer. God bless Africa and Mandela too.

      Meister01 - 2012-05-12 15:38

      A great future. Where we alreadyt have tens of thousands murdered brutally. Tortured. 18 years of downhill. Let's see what happens next.

      Jonathan - 2012-05-12 15:54

      Great future? have you smoked your breakfast cereal????

      Harold - 2012-05-12 16:22

      @Melissa in true godly spirit go and read Ex President DeKlerks speech. Then invoke God to bless Mr DeKlerk as well.

      trevorleriche1 - 2012-05-12 19:10

      great melissa to be so positive

      Pierre - 2012-05-13 12:23

      Yes Melissa, we have a great future, and there are a lot going well already. Thanks for pointing that out.

      cirrus11 - 2012-05-13 23:50

      Great future ahead if your ANC top brass. The rest are on there own in the dumps.

  • Abrham - 2012-05-12 14:53

    why abolish it if d klerk thought it was correct. the federation or even con federation models have merit but 'afsonderlike ontwikkeling' was not politically and economical viable. can you divorce your wife if she does not want to. fw, like most off the nat politicians are way past his sellby date but like most politicians have a underdeveloped selfworth which needs to be fed by joe public.

  • Nicholas - 2012-05-12 14:56

    I was waiting for this. No one can say anything today that is deemed "Controversial" (in other words, that does not neatly slot in with current liberal PC thinking), without demands being issued for a groveling and tearful apology. I thought "freedom of speech" was enshrined in the Constitution? FW, stand your ground and tell these hypocrites to go to hell.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 15:06

      Freedom of speech does not include talking nonsense, sorry boet

      Nicholas - 2012-05-12 15:19

      @Themba, thats that the beauty of freedom of speech, it also includes talking "nonsense" if that what you wants to do. It is also your choice (freedom of choice) if you want to listen to it or not.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 15:22

      Nicholas, Julius Malema used to talk a whole lot of rubbish which rubbed many people the wrong way. Where do we draw the line?

      Nicholas - 2012-05-12 15:34

      Even Julius Malema is entitled to talk rubbish. Whether it rubs people up the wrong way or not is irrelevant, thats what democracy is about. The line is drawn (according to the law) when it becomes hate speech and you break the law. Not liking what someone says does not make it hate speech.

      Marion - 2012-05-12 15:44

      @Themba - which part of the Constitutional definition of freedom of speech does he infringe? 16. F r e e d om of expression.-(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes- (a) freedom of the press and other media; ( b ) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; ( e ) freedom of artistic creativity; and (4 academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. (2) The right in subsection ( 1 ) does not extend to- (a) propaganda for war; (6) incitement of imminent violence; or (c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. He has the right to express his opinion.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 15:54

      Marion, the Constitution must be read as a whole, not just one specific section.

      Marion - 2012-05-12 16:04

      @Themba - the comment I responded to was about freedom of speech. These are the clauses that govern freedom of speech. What he said does not infringe on any of the points in my opinion.

      Nicholas - 2012-05-12 16:05

      Yes, we will have to agree to disagree. If FW has broken any laws by voicing his opinion I am sure he will be dragged off to the Human Rights Commission or to Court. But as you will see, this will not happen.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 16:24

      Marion, the key lies in the word "includes", which makes the list which you have mentioned open-ended. That is why I said the constitution must be read as a whole. Nicholas, de Klerk is not the types to be hauled before the HRC. He will apologise on his own out of decency.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 16:35

      And can the lemmings debate instead of click the thumbsdown? Easier done than debate I guess :)

      Themba - 2012-05-12 17:38

      This is a quotation from the statement issued by the De Klerk Foundation: "Since the mid-eighties De Klerk has accepted that the policies that he supported as a young man were wrong and that there was not any possibility of justly settling South Africa’s complex problems on the basis of territorial partition." It looks like that is Oupa De Klerk's way of apologising. I knew it!

      Marion - 2012-05-12 17:39

      @Themba - I accept what you say about 'includes' - however I believe that he had the right to express his personal opinion. Just as we all express our opinions on News24. It is very unfortunate that he didn't keep his opinion to himself or, alternatively, that he didn't just lie through his teeth and say he totally disagreed with the concept of separate development.

      Marion - 2012-05-12 18:26

      @Themba - this is what he said on CNN: "There is this picture that apartheid was…used to be compared to Nazism. It's wrong, and on that, I don’t apologise for saying that what drove me as a young man, before I decided we need to embrace a new vision, was a quest to bring justice for black South Africans in a way which would not - that’s what I believed then - destroyed the justice to which my people were entitled.” What you are quoting was not an apology, that was basically what he said in the interview.

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 02:24

      Nicholas, I support freedom of speech but I also believe that this is not about freedom of speech. FW was interviewed in his capacity as a Nobel laureate and is a globally known. He is not like you or me, he is far more influential. I feel as a former president he should not be engaging in defending apartheid, he should be focussing on the incredible success he and his fellow laureate, Nelson Mandela, achieved in bringing peace to our country. He does not serve SA well by trying to defend the indefensible, he does serve CNN well by creating controversy. He is a retired politician and to me it looks like he has allowed his vanity to be stroked at the country's expense.

      Pierre - 2012-05-13 13:14

      Freedom of speech does not set one above criticism. However we are lucky in SA, we can express many opinions. Just on this forum one finds a wide range of opinions. In many countries one cannot have these kinds of debates; one can receive a jail term for expressing a simple, sometimes even innocent sounding, opinion. If FW made similar comments about the fascist WWII era leaders or policies in Europe, depending on the country he could have faced a criminal investigation that carries a jail term if found guilty. I hope people appreciate the level of tolerance for freedom of speech in SA.

      Nicholas - 2012-05-13 13:47

      @ Andrew. So you would rather he said what you would like to hear? I would rather hear what he really thinks whether I like it or not. We already have a President who tells us what he wants us to hear and we have no idea what he really believes in or thinks because he always adjusts his “opinion” depending on who’s listening...that is not a leader! That’s someone desperately trying to seek approval and hedge his position. Saying de Klerk was “defending Apartheid” is cherry picking the juicy bits and a complete misrepresentation of what he said in the interview. I am sure if Amanpour has asked him soft feel good questions on South Africa you would have got what you wanted. If what FW says now, 18 odd years after being out the picture is going to affect nation building that dramatically, then as a people, we really are a sorry lot.

  • elmer.lourens - 2012-05-12 14:59

    The unity of one culture didn't work,but does the unity of multicultures work?It must be close to election time there in good old RSA.Jump on the racism and apartheid band wagon to divert from the obviously out of control rape of a beautiful country.Smacks of Zimbo!!!

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 02:33

      Elmer, we have to deal with the situation as we find it. It is not possible to simply wish for a unified culture in this country. We need to focus on the ties that bind us as opposed to divide us. Come home, go up to Zim, have a look and compare he two. We are nowhere near a Zim situation. We are by no means perfect but what country is these days? We have created a world class constitution and democracy, however imperfect, does reign. There is no out of control rape of a beautiful country going on, simply the growing pains of a teenage nation. And no, I am not a boot licking ANC apologist.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:34

      18 years is not a long time, but it is long enough to show that the ANC is on the wrong track in trying to improve this country. Unemployment is high, but there is no plan to bring it down; and unemployment will be this country's downfall. This is a far cry from FW's remarks and to revert to them, I agree entirely that separate development is better than our present dictatorship - rule by the ANC, for the ANC. This is a country of diverse nations and I doubt whether it can ever be brought into unity; as an example there is trouble in Belgium, a fairly old settled country.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-14 13:06

      18 years ....not even 30 years is enough considering the enormity of the task at hand.

  • David - 2012-05-12 14:59

    Why? At least he has an opinion-that is more than Zuma has ever had.

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 02:38

      David, FW is a retired politician and should stick to his role of elder statesmen doing all in his power to promote a positive image of SA. He should not be courting controversy.

      Merven - 2012-05-14 08:22

      @Andrew, the truth is the truth.

      Antebellum - 2012-05-14 14:19

      @andrew So when a man beats his wife and children, they should act as if nothing is wrong when family and fiends come to visit? Their role should be to do everying in their power to promote a positive image of their household?

  • Hermann - 2012-05-12 15:02

    Common CASAC go rewrite history as is your wont.

  • elmer.lourens - 2012-05-12 15:10

    Amazing how people forget who got the ball rolling to abolish apartheid.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 15:15

      FW did, but he is tainting his good track record by saying stupid things. I blame old age for his lack of clarity of thought. That is why he must retire and go play with his grandchildren

      Chrissie - 2012-05-13 17:50

      Sure FW started it all but I am sure he didn't expect the ANC to totally do what they did? He "trusted" that they will be civil.... but again how can you ever trust any criminal? Go to stats and you will see that almost all (if not all) of the ministers have criminal records, well how can criminals rule a country? Well the proof is in the pudding, see where SA is not 18 years later, run down, in debt worldwide and one of the most dangerous countries to live in...

  • Marion - 2012-05-12 15:17

    FW de Klerk has apologized repeatedly for the atrocities committed under Apartheid. He unbanned the ANC within months of becoming State President. Just a few days before Nelson Mandela was released he astounded the world by announcing that Apartheid would be dismantled. All this irrespective of how he personally felt about the system of homelands and separate development. Now, 20 plus years later they want to hang draw and quarter him for truthfully answering questions put to him. In my opinion he is entitled to his own opinion but I think it would just have been better for him if he had lied through his teeth when answering the questions put to him. FW I admire you for putting South Africa first when you became State President and that admiration will never change. If you hadn't dismantled Apartheid I wouldn't have my much-loved son.

      Marion - 2012-05-12 17:46

      @Silindile - you can call for his Nobel Peace Prize as much as you like. He is on record in 2010 as saying, inter alia, : He had, he says, "long come to the realisation that we were involved in a downward spiral of increasing violence and we could not hang on indefinitely. We were involved in an armed struggle where there would be no winners. The key decision I had to take now, for myself, was whether to make a paradigm shift." By the time he was back in Cape Town in early January, he had taken that decision.

  • Lebohang Bucibo - 2012-05-12 15:24

    Truth is not validated by popularity contest. Sometimes you need to state the facts as they are. I often observe that South Africans prefer to listen to only what they want to hear and anything that falls outside our myopic and narrow view is abhorable. Let us also not forget that is a man who set the train of reform rolling when apartheid was far from being defeated.

  • mart.botha - 2012-05-12 15:32

    These self righteous asses are becoming fewer by the day. Every day that the ANC holds on to power, is another day that they lose of the support from their power base, the poor people. Why not get an independant body from another country to study the responses they get from people living in these former 'homelands', and I think you may find that de Klerk's comments, which are quoted out of context, may be closer to the truth than many would want to believe. (to find out how they are doing they ask their supporters rather than their detractors - how dof is that). Apartheid and seperate developement is and was wrong. What does this then say of the ANC when the povo are starting to say that they were safer, it was easier to find work. the cost of living was cheaper etc etc when the white man was in control. Isn't it also quite amazing that most all the pro- ANC government lobbyists that shout their mouths off now, were living in, and supporting a land of milk and honey and were far removed from any revolution going on, yet now their licence to mouth off is only because they are black. If even half of those that claim to have been an active participants of the struggle were in fact actively involved, apartheid would never have lasted half as long.

  • Kevin - 2012-05-12 15:40

    CASAC should be even handed in their criticism of statements by SA Politicians. If FW De Klerks comments however ill considered and stupid they are no threat to the constitution or its advancement. On the other hand Patekile Holomisa's comments on gay rights are a direct contradiction of our constitution. His implied threat to take the matter to the rural people so that these aspects of the constitution are abrogated by traditional leaders is a direct assault on the constitution. Yet CASAC says and does nothing. It is quite clear that they are racist.

  • Dave - 2012-05-12 15:42

    It sounds like you did not see the whole interview in SA. I saw the full interview while staying in Paris last week. The interview was good and De Klerk's comments were balanced. He did a good job of explaining the philosophy at the time regarding the homelands. He also said that with the benefit of hindsight it is clear now that it would not have worked. It is time however to move on however. thankfully we live in a new world now.

      Dave - 2012-05-12 15:50

      New world.................. not the same as the old world.

      Marion - 2012-05-12 15:52

      @Dave - we only got the 'pertinent' snippet... There are many more things online that he said about Apartheid that should receive attention than this one interview that has everyone's knickers in a twist (including mine!)

      Dave - 2012-05-12 16:03

      It seems as though the reporting in SA on this story was not balanced. It was clear in the interview that De Klerk agreed that the apartheid era was evil and unjust. This is why it ended. He also stated that Mandela should have been released a lot earlier. I bet this was not reported either. He tried to explain the logic behind the attempt to set up the homelands and commented that in hindsight the logic was flawed. The interview was balanced and De Klerk did a good job. Time to move on.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:40

      "New World", what price 1984 now.

  • siyanda.myende - 2012-05-12 15:48

    This country is so divided that you'd have white people defend apartheid and black people defend government corruption. It's always white vs black. You should be ashamed of yourselves

      Marion - 2012-05-12 16:24

      @siyanda - please note I am defending FW's right to express his opinion, not apartheid. (At least that is what I am trying to express.)

      Marion - 2012-05-12 18:40

      @Yebo33 - I am defending him because I believe that he has a right to express his opinion and that his opinion in this instance should not be used to obliterate all the good he has done for the country. I on occasion also defend Jacob Zuma, Helen Zille (never Julius Malema).

      Paul - 2012-05-13 07:50

      I dont see white folk ( i live in Dbn ) defending aparthied but, it is always white vs black, witch bugs me. Where"s the indian and coluord folk ? Or are they concided black and im getting it wrong ?

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-12 15:50

    Looks like we have a lot of woosies hiding behind fancy names linked to "democracy". This is such a nice little pony for them to ride. But I suppose they must be seen to be doing something. Way back in time you were burnt at the stake or at best ostracized if you dared to differ from popular opinion, even if you were right. I see no point in saying something, only to retract it later. If you do, there is no doubt that you are a liar, or at least that you are insincere. Casac should rather encourage the expression of different views, in stead of being biased towards popular opinion.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:43

      Well said. This is such a storm in a very small tea cup.

  • michael.e.bowery - 2012-05-12 15:55

    Mr De Klerk, it is all a little bit late for any musings you might have in respect of apartheid, separate development and the Bantustans. All you manufactured, aimed no doubt at the Nobel Prize you shared with Nelson Mandela, was a change from one corrupt regime for another far worse. We now not only have one man one vote, but one of the most corrupt governments in Africa. A level of crime no-one knows how to contain let alone control.Education and Health in absolute tatters, Almost every Provincial and Municipal administration penniless due to maladministration and corruption. This, alongside billionaire politicians playing the tender game and ANC stalwarts fighting among themselves to see who will topple President Zuma. Their aim, to bring in the next wave of votered for looters of this wonderful treasure trove we call South Africa. Whether it's you on CNN, BBC Hardtalk or the new Constitution which mentioned all the injustices of the past,there is little attention being paid to the injustices of the present or those of a future under the brand of leadership we haplessly inherited.

  • MefrouwPoefparra - 2012-05-12 16:00

    Oh bugger off. Getting really pissed off with all the sensitive "previously disadvantaged" poor old souls.

      Gieljam - 2012-05-13 08:09

      MevPoefa Iets lui n klokkie is jy familie van Stinkvingertjie ....

  • acsteyn - 2012-05-12 16:07

    "unfortunate and disappointing" is about right. I think it is the last kind of view we need ever. I also certainly do not think he aired these views prior to accepting the Nobel Prize. He is saying the whites lost because the numbers were overwhelming and that is why he did the "right" thing? I sppose safely tucked in your home in the UK it does not really matter. If it were up to him and the circumstances were right nothing would have changed. My goodness, he and BOB could have been buddies after all.

      Levett - 2012-05-12 19:17

      he never said the whites lost! it was just morally wrong to mow the black protesters down like rabbits. Your knowledge of history is appauling brother.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:48

      SALife, what are you on about? The problem, as I see it, is that he did not apologise for Jan van Riebeck and everything since. By the way, the first 'settlers' in South Africa were English, but they didn't like it.

  • Erna - 2012-05-12 16:11

    You cannot tell a politician to retract comments made by him that are based on his beliefs. Just because he freed Mandela and unbanned the ANC doesn't mean he believes everything they do. And that is where freedom of speech comes in!

      donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-05-12 16:40

      Excellent comment Erna,there's an old saying:a wise man reflects before he speaks and a fool first speaks and then reflects on what he has Klerk is no fool and always could speak from the fist, unlike these vile buffoons currently running this country who first have to consult their spindocters or reading their prepared speeches,they are so pathetic and corrupt they have substituted the lie in favour of political correctness.

  • lownabester - 2012-05-12 16:11

    Why???? He spoke the truth.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 17:40

      This is a quotation from the statement issued by the De Klerk Foundation: "Since the mid-eighties De Klerk has accepted that the policies that he supported as a young man were wrong and that there was not any possibility of justly settling South Africa’s complex problems on the basis of territorial partition." It looks like that is Oupa De Klerk's way of apologising. I knew it!

  • Dave - 2012-05-12 16:12

    It seems as though the reporting in SA on this story was not balanced. It was clear in the full interview that De Klerk agreed that the apartheid era was evil and unjust. This is why it ended. He also stated that Mandela should have been released a lot earlier. I bet this was not reported either in the SA media. De Klerk tried to explain the logic behind the attempt to set up the homelands and commented that in hindsight the logic was flawed. The interview was balanced and De Klerk did a good job whether you believed in his politics or not. Time to move on. Only the dead should live in the past.

  • Harold - 2012-05-12 16:18

    Gerald it is better that you delete your comments . To take comments about Ex Presidents speech out of context is the same as getting all huffed up about The Premier of the Western Cape,s remarks about the people who are fleeing from the homelands because of the poor conditions there. Try to find out about the context of homelands and what is separatism. Ask the Bosnians or the people in Sudan or Morroco or even the Griqua people or some of the many nations in the world who are at this moment striving for a place in the sun what separatism is and why they want it

  • Nigel - 2012-05-12 16:21

    where the F*** was CASAC when Malema was saying the ANC is for blacks, where were they when the ANC was singing kill the boer, to hell with you , bloody agents!!!!!

      Themba - 2012-05-12 16:33

      Ag no Nigel. Are we now measuring FW's intelligence against Malema's?

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-05-12 16:40

      Nope, Themba. We are measuring CASAC's against Malema's.

      Themba - 2012-05-12 16:42

      Tania Kwakwakwakwa! You should try your hand at being a comedian

      beukeskirwin - 2012-05-12 23:09

      @nigel two wrongs doesn't make a right. This not mathematics. They we're both wrong fullstop and we as fellow south africans can't go and support their wrongs.

  • gailcarolynhayes - 2012-05-12 16:48

    I think that the concept of giving each group of Africans a specific part of the country where their traidtions and way of life would be their own and could be preserved and not modified by other possibly larger groups was not necessarily bad per se but that before putting this concept into a legal form there should have been agreement by all parties affected by this concept as to which piece of land they considered to be their tradional homeland. Only once there was agreement that each group wanted to have an own homeland should the next step have been taken which was basically to agree that South Africa as a whole belonged to ALL who lived in it wherever they may wish to live in it. Everyone in South Africa is ultimately a coloniser since they moved southwards for economic and environmental reasons. European and even Arabic and Malaysian coloniser crossed the seas to settle in a land which was effectively unsettled. The greatest mistake of apartheid (aside from the term itself) was that the system emphasised and labelled people according to their differences and legally and without consent refused likeminded people of all groups to discover what they had in common and as a common vision for our country. They made differences instead of common vision and ability based on race legally thereby denying the majority who were disenfanchised any say in their own lives. In a sense BEE is doing the same thing though the reasoning behind it is different and is no less abhorrent.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-12 16:50

    It is time to get rid of the traditional leaders and give the rural homesteads to the people who live in them, this traditional tribal chieftain-ship is also ruining South Africa's move to becoming a healthy democracy. These chiefs think they are kings, living on Tax-payers money but then still charging their people rent. Thank heavens for F.W. DeKlerk who was pivotal in steering South Africa from being suppressed by the Nationalist Apartheid Government to becoming a democracy, even though it is not a healthy one at present, we can still become a healthy democracy....... Because we are free to do so. The fact is that in context F.W. said the truth, that is why so many are having to screech in horror.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 06:54

      Sam, you're jealous!

  • TheAppsMan - 2012-05-12 16:52

    Freedom of speech. like it or not he can say what he wants. - We are now 18 years on in a democracy (perhaps)

  • Fourhundredkg - 2012-05-12 16:56

    Who the f&*% is CASAC?

      Levett - 2012-05-12 19:08

      it's a new anc initiative to steal tax payer's monies

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:34

      On a pedantic point of order. Moneys, if you must use it. Money is plural anyway and while Y takes IES, EY does not.

  • Daniel - 2012-05-12 17:18

    Where the h*ll have they been until now!!! All of a sudden got something to say.

  • ujozi.sales - 2012-05-12 17:33

    At least de Klerk has an opinion JZ can't find the time to form an educated opinion let alone fix up whats so fundamentally wrong with South Africa.....CRIME + CORRUPTION

  • Jacque - 2012-05-12 18:08

    in these posts i always see words used like \democracy\, \unity\, \equality\, but i have yet to see it practised anywhere, for 18 years its only been words on sheet of paper or words spoken on a micro phone. When every colour has the same and equal chance of getting a job post or equal chance at getting a bursary then i would say we are on the right road to equality, but you CANNOT replace apartheid with BEE, that is not curing devision, but rather adding fuel t o the fire. the truth is the only place people are united is at the voting polls and even then they are being led like sheep by lies and false hopes and dreams. \r\n\r\nThis country is heading for massive riots, revolution, and civil war, and this time around it wont be white vs black but black against black. keep taking all the money, line your pockets while your own people starve, you deserve everything that is coming your way. \r\n\r\nIts too late for the anc to change or fix itself, they are too far gone, corruption reeks at every desk, every office, every province, we need new leadership that isnt based on any racial hatred or plagued by racial history, new leadership that represents all colours and cultures. right now anc is as deadly as the AWB was, and will fall just as hard...

      Chrissie - 2012-05-13 17:55

      I can't see any difference between apartheid and BEE except that when apartheid was in power almost everyone had a job, was secure, had money but ever since BEE came in well our poverty shot up, unemployment is the highest ever, crime is high, you can kill someone and you walk way as the police can't catch you because they don't have the manpower or vehicles to do so, if you get sick they can't treat you because Eskom cut the power as the government didn't pay the electric bill... so what's the difference? That NEVER happened before....

  • Muffin_man_can - 2012-05-12 18:10

    Do not retract your statement FW, the truth needs to be told. The anc and related factions are trying to rewrite history to fit their own made up fairytale..

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:08

      To lighten things up; as a child I used to see the Muffin Man selling muffins and crumpets from a tray which he carried, balanced on his head, rather like Grannie Anderson's Mielie Lady. The muffins were genuine, not the cakes you get today instead.

  • Alan - 2012-05-12 18:24

    This is a violation of the right to free speech and expression. SA is on the same road as our northern neighbour

  • Levett - 2012-05-12 19:01

    LOL you just angry because de klerk is telling the truth. Just a pitty he did'nt make use of the opportunity to appologize that he trusted the anc to bring about the justice that sa needs.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:12

      But, Sam, you could moderate your language, there might be ladies present. Although I have heard as bad from some ladies.

      Levett - 2012-05-13 07:12

      Sam the origin of our white's situation in SA today is that de klerk did not negotiate white homelands so that our sovereignity is guaranteed. The NP was in the position to do it but instead idiot de klerk trusted that black people are non-racial and just. It is basically like selling all your shares in a company and then you trust that the new owners will still give you a good salary when you work for them. How de klerk is going to fix the mess he created will be very difficult. But as I stated, a good start will be for him to stop justifying what he did and apologise to white SA and say: \I WAS WRONG\.

  • Jamie - 2012-05-12 19:09

    I miss apartheid.It worked for everyone.It belongs to the pass.Yet the ANC seems to not be able to move on.Just blame Apartheid for everything.

      Chrissie - 2012-05-13 17:57

      Nice to plate the race card, they have to blame something or someone

  • Jamie - 2012-05-12 19:13

    Apartheid worked.Everyone was employed and there was not so much crime.The current Government is run by previous exiled political dissidents they fled the Country when the Struggle got to hard.Zuma is not in touch with his own people.Only the ANC Elite has a voice.

      Sam - 2012-05-12 21:42

      "no crime" ignorant,silly,stupid ,fool, yet apartheid was crime against huminity itself. At some stage I realise Thabo Mbeki was a right man for this country, he put these white ppl in right place, with Zuma is nonono very scared of white ppl look all his decisions he made were turned down by whites through courts, I dont know where we will get a Pres like Mugabe in SA

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 02:56

      @ Jamie, no apartheid did not work and if you think locking people up for their political views is not a crime then you are clearly in the same camp as Sam who replied to you. @Sam, what Thabo did was kill more black people through AIDS denialism than the Nats ever did. Probably more than your hero did too when he slaughtered the Ndebele. Food for thought but I sincerely doubt that we can get a Bob here, there are too many checks and balances for a eglomaniac like that to centralise control here. Look at how Thabo fell foul of his party when he overstepped himself if you doubt me.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:14

      Jamie, how is it that you get 8 likes at 9 minutes past 7 and only 6 five minutes later?

  • Alasdair - 2012-05-12 20:11

    They must listen carefully to what FW said. He said that in Czech the so called homeland system worked but in SA not and that he realised this and that he was against the system. If it wasn't for him SA wouldn't be where we are today although it is debatable whether much has really changed for the majority of the population. Let's hope Moeletsi Mbeki is right!!

  • George - 2012-05-12 20:34

    Can someone take a count of all the obscure "institutions". They are like fungus.

  • Antwahn - 2012-05-12 20:52

    Nee frikkie, moenie probeer om die waarheid te se nie! Separate development may have suited whites et al. But the ANC's incompetent, corrupt cadres would not have us to milk dry with taxes. CASAC POEPSAC

      Themba - 2012-05-12 21:33

      Dude, go and develop separately in that zoo called Orania

      Antwahn - 2012-05-12 22:29

      Orania? Naah. Or perhaps I must retract my comment, dude?

  • Forest Gump - 2012-05-12 21:20

    Anybody who thinks he should apologise is an idiot

  • Qhama Sontundu - 2012-05-12 22:25

    for some reason i knew it that most of the white folk would see no WRONG with DeKlerk's comments. its disturbing that there are some WHITE people who actually want apartheid back and actually prefer it than the current democratic system. we negotiated poorly after independence, maybe we should have just reversed roles.

      Craig Hopkins - 2012-05-12 23:31

      Roles are reversed. What planet you on?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-12 23:53

      Not many whites want to ever see Apartheid again, most whites that supported Apartheid are all old now and slowly dying off, just like the ANC elite are doing at the moment, one after the next. What is left after all these Apartheid legacy generations have all passed on, (both black and white) The "Nationalist whites' gave up superiority, while the blacks fought for freedom, which they got, but what has been achieved other than having a corrupt ANC-proclaim themselves the Ruling Party. Good governance is what the new generation of South African's want, we don't want to be concerned with the color of our skins anymore, we want to get on to making South Africa the richest nation on the African continent, which we can't because of the ANC-eletists stealing South Africa blind. One day the country is going to cheer the end of the ANC, just as loudly as they did when they saw the backs of the Apartheid Government. What a waste of time and money the ANC ruling party have become. They have sunk so low, they can't even see themselves fix the problem, they don't even want to try, they have become a criminal ruling party, as they can't call themselves a government. What a shame, they run for power and greed through corruption nobody believes anything they say, their house burns from the inside, and there leaders tumble to the graves, poor like dust. While their children grow fat like cows, fed on money stolen from workers. Cry louder beloved country, till we are rid of the ANC.

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 03:00

      True, then all black men could have enjoyed two years' conscription and the whites could have started blowing up government buildings and shopping centres. Gee that would have worked - Not.

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:22

      Glen, I don't think that blacks fought for freedom, they fought for power, and they have it. Total power, and it will not do South Africa much good, as the saying goes, 'Power corrupts, Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely.'

      Simthandile Mpondo - 2012-05-13 08:22

      The fact that u think roles are now reversed, then u obviously see no wrong in the injustices of the past. If roles are reversed what is Hellen Zille doing in Government?

      Levett - 2012-05-13 14:27

      there's more blacks than whites that want apartheid back ... FACT!

  • Alan Brent - 2012-05-12 23:24

    Every word Mr .De Klerk said in that interview was the truth. All the present Government has produced is a land of back hander's and corruption experts.

      andrew.wilso - 2012-05-13 03:02

      Unfortunately, our current dear leaders learnt it from the last bunch. Most democratic countries around the world suffer the same problem of the governing party abusing state funds.

      Simthandile Mpondo - 2012-05-13 08:19

      White people will never change. Alan ur comments demonstrate that. If white people want to live on their own they will not do it anywhere in SA. Go to Europe and get Volkstaad there.

      shireen.abbas - 2012-05-13 16:55

      @Simthandile Mpondo? what makes u believe that only white people hold these views ? Wake up !

  • Phenyo Massivp Mogamisi - 2012-05-13 03:11

    I was gonna vote for DA, but iv decided- Im not gonna sell my black brothers out. The racism I'm still experiencing is beyond bizarre! MOST white(afrikaaners) are racist! The english are a million times better.

      Erna - 2012-05-13 06:04

      Please explain what the DA and de Klerk have in common? Their policies are poles apart.

      Gerald Jordaan - 2012-05-13 06:48

      F*ck you you ignorant prick!!

      ivan.matshaba1 - 2012-05-13 14:16

      @Phenyo Im glad im not the only one seeing the light

      Levett - 2012-05-13 14:22

      no one will miss your type in ANY political part

      Chrissie - 2012-05-13 18:04

      See and there comes the racism card again, NOBODY made any comments on racism only you now... grow up, get a life ans STOP blaming racism for everything. What I can gather from all the comments are that everyone just wants peace and freedom but you can't have it in the new SA. Violence and take up the arms that's what get implied and said here is the only way, now what's that different than being in a war zone?

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-05-13 06:57

    I did not see the interview but all i can say is why must de klerk dredge up the past we have enough issues to deal with in SA we don't need now to debate if the NP's failed policies were right or wrong

      Keith - 2012-05-13 07:30

      I don't think FW started it, I'm sure that it was CNN who approached him. The bloody Media again, I think we must curb them somehow, look at all the bumph this little interview has generated.

      Simthandile Mpondo - 2012-05-13 08:15

      U can say that again Michael.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-05-13 07:57

    So what is the issue here! instead of 10 bantustans we now have one disfunctinal bantustan!

  • Andy - 2012-05-13 08:07

    What does the ANC think BEE is ,this is race based and is excludeing Whites from the economy based the colour of your skin.When Mandela was realeased from prison with the intervention of FW we were promosed equal opportunities for all south Africans.

  • Marc - 2012-05-13 09:33

    Pityana and the utterly superfluous, money wasting Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)can sod off. Let him try and defend the dozens of racist entities and organisations, not least the governnment itself with the money wasted on Casac.