De Klerk dismisses 'twisted' comments

2012-05-14 22:27

Cape Town - Former president FW de Klerk sought to remind the world on Monday that he helped abolish apartheid, following criticism over comments he made last week.

"May I remind everybody that it was me, together with the fellow leaders of the National Party, who abolished apartheid on 2 February 1990," he said in Cape Town.

"Why would I have nostalgia for that which I abolished and for that which I apologised? I don't want to get into the twisted interpretation of what I've said."

De Klerk was speaking at the opening of The Scoin Shop in the city.

He said that he was optimistic about the country's future, despite many "challenges".

These included the lagging growth rate and high unemployment rate, he said.

"We know that our education system is in a crisis, we know that people are protesting in the streets about bad delivery, so we're not in a good place in the socio-economic sense of the word.

"Fortunately, we are implementing well-balanced economics, macro-economic policies and I'm not a pessimist at all," he said.

"What is wrong in South Africa can be put right and I think that it's time we all join hands, stop shouting at each other and we work together to improve things."

The remarks that raised the ire of many were made during an interview with De Klerk at a summit of Nobel laureates in Chicago on Thursday nigh.

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

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 reportedly 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.

  • Jackie - 2012-05-14 22:35

    De Klerk I don't know what you are smoking but if thus about tarnishing your image then I give you thumbs up, you doing a pretty good job

      bryan.culross - 2012-05-14 23:25

      Whenever I read a comment from you Jackie it tarnishes your image!!!

      Marion - 2012-05-15 07:29

      @koos - do you know there aren't any van der Merwe jokes. They're all true. One man's traitor is another man's hero, just as one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

      Rohan - 2012-05-15 08:02

      @koos- Please do not spout the baneful and idiotic thoughts from your mind onto this forum. It really is not necessary for us to hear what you have to say.

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-15 08:28

      The afrikaners want their own independent homeland but the ANC are not allowing it as they know full well that white people can be self sufficient and not have to rely on handouts to survive.

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-15 08:29

      @ Rohan. Are you the thought Gestapo?

      desmond.leaner - 2012-05-15 08:46

      @Surf_City Who is going to physically build your houses, roads, bridges and clean your houses in your white homeland?

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-15 09:40

      @desmond. White people. Why...are you of the opinion that white people are lazy? I suspect you may have that perception a little misplaced.

      Thuthuka - 2012-05-15 10:34

      @SurfCity, I'm confused. 1. Is it Afrikaaner, or is it white people? 2. What is your complaint if you can sustain? 3. What do you want, and how is your obviously innovative and amazing mind being preventing achieving it?

      desmond.leaner - 2012-05-16 09:28

      @Surf_City I find it surprising that you claim who will be doing the physical building of Orania. I have not seen brick-layers, street-workers, garbage-men, maids of your racial affliction. But hopefully WEE within the blue-collar sector will rectify this and you will have the skills to build a wonderful and happy homeland for you. I know that the rest of the country will celebrate your achievements towards your journey to freedom!

  • thebe.tau - 2012-05-14 22:42

    De Klerk I hope we are not going to have to tell you this again-Apartheid was defeated by the masses, u had no choice if you had any choice you would have had it go on for more years, don't make us repeat ourselves over and over again.

      Sean - 2012-05-15 01:10

      @thebe.tau - You are repeating yourselves over and over again ! Look in what direction this country is heading , because the uneducated masses support the criminals in charge !

      Chris - 2012-05-15 08:00

      @thebe, what continent have you been living on? The masses spoke in Libya and look what it had to come down to. Same in many other African countries. Civil war was a very likely option in this country, we should all be grateful to De Klerk and Mandela that we can be at work, school or university instead of shooting each other in the streets.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-05-15 08:42

      read it again he said help abolish , not that he He-man hero single-handedly took it down . Ergo his reference to twisted comments.

  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-05-14 22:54

    "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. And what did they do with it???? NOTHING. Just hold out the hands for more from the white man. I was one of those who pay taxes to be poured into those homelands. Now they are doing the same to this lovely country, consume it as they are the altimate consumers. Nothing will be left over but the waste, and then they will say that the white man did not give enough.

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-14 23:51

      Jessica's feel inferior. That is our biggest problem. Instead of lifting themselves up they drag everyone else down.

      Boer - 2012-05-15 05:06

      Ja swaer jys reg. Die wetters wil alles verniet he, maar is te dom en lui om hulle self te wil help. Dis altyd die ras-kaart wat gebruik word.

  • EricksonTL - 2012-05-14 23:06

    In another twenty years, will we be fortunate enough to have an ANC member apologise for the destruction they're wreaking in this country now? I think not. Once a racist African dictator, always a racist African dictator. The NP and their policies were abhorrent, BUT they ended those policies WITHOUT blood shed. Before we judge, let's see what the next few years hold for South Africa? I'd say that our history as a racist stronghold is FAR from over, it's just that different racists are in charge. We've yet to see the true effects that will have on this country, but if we continue on our current course, I think we might yet. Mr. De Klerk, you did wrong by being a part of the NP. But you had balls to admit that, and for that, you are head and shoulders above the racist idiots out there who can't even see what they're doing.

      Ken - 2012-05-14 23:55

      @KeynotezBazooka "black racism doesn't exist just black anger?".... If you believe that then you are more stupid than you think you are!

      EricksonTL - 2012-05-15 00:24

      I don't waste my time arguing with idiots. Just one small thing to think about: if your fall back argument in this situation is race, then what could you POSSIBLY be BUT racist? Are you the Easter Bunny?

      Sean - 2012-05-15 00:57

      @KeynotezBazooka - Instead of learning from the past , these idiots can only blame the past !! FFS look at Africa , what African country is not f@cked ?? Look at your f@cken leaders raping the country , while you the majority starve of hunger and you still vote for them , how dumb can one be ?? As much as I tried to , it`s a mentality I can not understand. Keep on self destructing , that`s what idiots like you do best !!

      Paul - 2012-05-15 07:56

      NO BLOODSHED??? I guess it is obvious that you are of the paler variety of South Africans. Security Branch tortured so many South Africans. Police shot so many school kids. You are either to young to remember or just ignorant. It is easy to admit you were wrong when your survival depends on it.

      Paul - 2012-05-15 08:01

      @Sean. There is so many things you don't see when it comes to African Politics. Watch the documentary "South of the Border" and you will get a taste of how the West and their greed cause so much war and bloodshed. You might have forgotten that the political country borders that exist today were put in place by Europeans to demarkate their colonies. It does not take into consideration that the land demarkated has originally been subdivided amongst various tribes within Africa. So when the Europeans leave their colonies and leave one tribe in charge, you can only imagine the blowback

      Sean - 2012-05-15 10:20

      @Paul - Still no excuse to blame apartheid for the current destruction of SA.

  • Vernon - 2012-05-14 23:35

    can a shangaan ,pedi ,zulu, xhosa ,englishman and afrikaaner share a pub in rustnerburg

      Ken - 2012-05-14 23:40


      Vernon - 2012-05-15 00:43


  • John - 2012-05-14 23:43

    Please show me a country in the world where you do not find apartheid. Look at India they actually had to cut the country to create Pakistan. Then in India itself their is about 21 homelands for each ethnic group. The same in China. In USA and Canada they have the Red Indians stacked away in reserves(homelands) the Red Indians should have been a population of 280m now only 6m. In Australia Aboriginal population in reserves (homelands) population should have been now 40m only 342 000. Europe was and still is built on ethnic groups. UK 4 ethnic groups in their own homelands. South America all divided according to ethnic groupings and also in each country ethnic groups divided into homelands. The greatest Apartheid State of all times is the illegal Jews in Palestine and they massacre the poor Palestinians every day and the USA and UK support this slaughter of people. The ANC is divided in ethnic groupings that is why they are stealing so much and corruption. The nine Provinces accommodates the ethnic groups the same as the homelands. Tswana's in North West (and can they steal) Zulu's in Natal (they steal even more) Xhosa's in the Eastern Cape (they are the masters of stealing). The whole world is build on ethnic groups so apartheid practiced in South Africa was the most humane form of apartheid in the whole world. Millions were killed in India, the Red Indians were massacred millions. In 1900 5m Blacks in RSA 5m Aborigines Aus. 2012 RSA 52m Blacks Aborigines 324 000 in Aus.

      Ken - 2012-05-15 00:10

      John, this is so well said, just a pity it's so late in the artical and only a few people will see it!...have a Bells on me!

      Sean - 2012-05-15 01:01

      Well said John !! 90% of the ANC voters would not undertsand what you wrote !! Like I said in all my posts above , instead of learning from the past , they can only blame the past!

      rrakoma - 2012-05-15 01:15

      um wow, really? Why are there white ppl in all of the 9 provinces then? Should we stack afrikaners in ventersdorp, and the english speakers in the cape? You argument is absurd because we as black people where chosen for but white could choose, whateva you base it on is not valid. I am a pedi so does that mean I want to be stuck in the limpopo province with other pedi? Am I not alowed to decide for myself? Do you believe I have the right to decide? Guys this is exactly what we fought against, stop vindicating this sort of rubish, south africa belongs to all who live in it.

      EricksonTL - 2012-05-15 02:38

      You suggesting seperate development? Hmmmm... done right, that just might work. I'll have a double secession, with a side order of peace. Thanks.

      sabongam - 2012-05-15 09:37

      You never cease to amaze, John. So, beacuse this is a world-wide phenomenon it makes it right? What you're ultimately saying is that(I'm sure you'll be happy that I'm mentioning this) because most of the African countries are or have failed after colonisation and become "banana republics" than it would be right for SA to follow the same route? And we all know all the wrongs which are taking place in African countries i.e corruption and dictatorships, and because that is happening on the continent it should also be the norm for SA over and above the problems we have? Go get your geriatric brain checked out along with the people cheering you on and giving you the blerrie Bell's like Ken Jay May...You deserve it anyway so as to keep yourself peop dronk like you are right now.

      Thuthuka - 2012-05-15 09:39

      Wow, what is going on here? Are you for real? Let me ask you this... If this absurd idea of yours were to even be considered, do you think white people would be willing to give up 90% of the land owned in the country to retain 10% of SA's land mass? The stance shown around land reform tells me otherwise. It is a ridiculous idea. Could you hate people so much that you would want to only live with your own ethnic group? I love the diversity of this country, so my vote is He11 no. Nothing about apartheid was right, and its legacy is obviously still very prevelent. It needs to die once and for all.

      Sean - 2012-05-15 10:28

      @Thuthuka - Land issue again ! What happend to the land given FOR FREE to the ``underprivileged`` to farm on ???? Maybe you should be less obsessed with white people and think for a change. How much do the white farmers contribute to the economy , but that you don`t think about , all you can see are those ``bloody white people``!

      Thuthuka - 2012-05-15 16:10

      @Sean, I won't wast too much of my time, or yours. You and all who thumbed down probably after reading your rant should read the initial comment by John, to which mine is a response, then read mine again. It's called context.

  • Boeretroos - 2012-05-15 00:37

    Ag man - Im so happy with seperate development - Im like a pig wallowing in mud ! Screw the rainbow !

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-05-15 01:33

    In 1985 country experienced a debt crisis brought about by a mismatch in the maturity structure of the country’s private sector debt.Compounding the situation, Chase Manhattan Bank refused to roll over its loans, alarmed by increasing violence and the stubborn refusal of the apartheid government to agree to any political change. What followed was an escalating set of financial sanctions that cut off South Africa from global capital markets.The apartheid government responded to the 1985 crisis with exchange controls and increasing intervention by the central bank. It did not work and De Klerk and his regime collapsed.

      Nick - 2012-05-15 10:07

      Thus Botha and then finally De Klerk chose to end apartheid in order to save the country. The struggle had achieved none of this. Historical facts are always enlightening.

  • Nicky van der Vlies - 2012-05-15 03:47

    well de klerk i hope you happy for ending apartheid cos because of that the whole country is in a mess!! u traitor!!!

      Ilze - 2012-05-16 09:50

      Nicky, ag shame, whowing the whole word what an idiot you are.

  • Corne - 2012-05-15 04:29

    He also stole another man's wife.

      Ilze - 2012-05-16 09:50

      Hahaha, and then...

  • WhiteNut - 2012-05-15 05:06

    Be reminded that you became the leader of the NP and that of a country with an intention to enjoy nd sustain your apartheid regime, not to abolish it, but you dismally failed, the power of the people forced you to abolish your evil regime. Some apartheid beneficiaries still resent you for failing them. You were defeated by the ppl and made it looked like you freely handed power over to th majority nd defeated something that you were mandated to do and loved so dearly. Jus shut up, u r nt gonna change history. You will be forever known as the last president of APARTHEID brought down by th ppl, live with it

      Andile - 2012-05-15 06:27

      I couldn't have say it better, even now he know he didn't abolish apartheid but the pressure ans sacrifices of people did. He's making an example of Czechs who chose to be separated, whilst the homeland's ppl never had those choices.

  • braamc - 2012-05-15 05:36

    The effect of all the theft, corruption, poor management and non existent service delivery from the cANCer has bigger socio-economic consequences

  • Forest Gump - 2012-05-15 05:44

    Maybe its cause i didnt actually appreciate apartheid but when i think of south africans who i have some admiration for(and there aint many besides for sporting heroes) de klerk always springs to mind. Cos unlike so many of our leaders today u know where u stand with then cos what comes out his mouth is what he actually believes in

  • Forest Gump - 2012-05-15 05:44

    Maybe its cause i didnt actually appreciate apartheid but when i think of south africans who i have some admiration for(and there aint many besides for sporting heroes) de klerk always springs to mind. Cos unlike so many of our leaders today u know where u stand with then cos what comes out his mouth is what he actually believes in

  • hendrick.mokwale - 2012-05-15 06:06


      Nick - 2012-05-15 08:03

      I agree with you Hendrik .... it's best to say nothing !

  • Positive - 2012-05-15 06:09

    The only reason De Kerk had to change his approach was the peoples movement and too many sanctions against our country , our economy was on the verge of collapsing and we would have been worse then Zimbabwe. De Klerk will never admit he didn't had a choice to stop apartheid and the best thing of all they got away with it , the corruption the tender fraud and we tend to forget that a lot of white owned companies that exist today was established mainly through tender fraud and WEE. no one was ever arrested for Crimes against Humanity , No one touched their houses and luxuries that they accumulated and when you talk about Transformation they still complain cause they expect things to be equal. Comes to think even in Mathematical terms 2 negatives makes actually a positive , no wonder we can't move forward

  • MADZELA - 2012-05-15 06:34

    What a jackass that's very rich from him once a liar always a liar

  • anthro45 - 2012-05-15 06:47

    FW, it's funny that you couldn't see what the rest of SA could. They will use you and abuse you and then spit you out.

  • Nasser - 2012-05-15 06:51

    I watched the CNN interview. Yes, he insinuated that the homeland system had virtue and implied that they were democracies. This was a mistake. It was not twisted, taken out of context or misinterpreted. Mr De Klerk revealed a bit of nostalgia and hankering for the good old bad old days! He's an old man, so I'll grant him the faux pas! Lets move on already! SAfrica is a land of promise. As Mr De Klerk says, the macro economics are good, the mistake we're making can be fixed!

  • Nasser - 2012-05-15 06:58

    As one journo so aptly put it... "Nats taking credit fcr ending apartheid is like hijackers taking credit for releasing hostages". Lol - thats why I love my country so much - never a dull moment! So many idiosyncracies, so much vibrance and promise! We should laugh at ourselves more. Arch Tutu is a great advocate of laughter in the face of adversity - we should take a leaf out of his book! We fought the good fight, we should put that behind us now and fight ignorance, poverty, disease and crime with the same vigour that we fought and beat apartheid!

  • Zion - 2012-05-15 06:58

    If we like it or not due to our own arrogance and overloaded ego De Klerk is 100% in the mark. Compare what he said to what the great ANC is saying and not doing. Big words like traitor makes us lesser persons see themselves as national heroes who have made no contribution tpo this country yet are prepared to castigate others who have.

  • Zion - 2012-05-15 07:04

    And If we want to act small minded then it would be worth knowing how many of De Klerks gang ended up before a judge of magistrate for blatant theft and corruption.. any takers?

  • trizahn.marais - 2012-05-15 07:20

    I can see all you people complaining about the past and yet nothing gets done to better our future. You fools are starting something that no one wants or maybe a fool would want it. Grow up!

  • Emmanuel - 2012-05-15 07:33

    Once the water has spilled from the glass you cant put it back, once out it is out

  • Paul - 2012-05-15 07:53

    You abolished a system which you supported for 30-40 years. So great, you can now sleep at night de Klerk, but the horrors you and the apartheid government committed have left deep scars in our society that seems impossible to mend. You only need to read the comments on a political charged News24 article to realise the rift in society that apartheid has caused. What you are not telling the world is the economic conditions you insisted on before abolishing apartheid. We were a new democracy saddled with the debt of the apartheid regime for which the World Bank demanded every cent. I disagree with a lot the ANC is doing in our country. But, it does not come close the the propoganda and window dressing the Apartheid government spread to divide a nation. Old men should sometimes just shut up and die with their prejudices.

  • clive.brink - 2012-05-15 08:06

    While on the topic of ethnicity, seperate development, and white's presence in each province. It is only because we dont have our own homeland/province like the different tribes have their provinces over which the Zulu's now reign supreme and will continue doing so till Jesus comes again. Yes please we beg give us a piece of land, any land no matter how forlorn and barren and allow us to go live therr in peace and develop it. Promise we will take our issues with us and never hassle you again. PS: You are welcome and can keep De Klerk.

      Harold - 2012-05-15 08:31

      Clive who will be our leader to take us to that land? With out leaders you cannot negotiate a place in the sun and typical Afrikaaner you start asking for a piece of land by insulting your leader. Our are you hoping for a secound coming of ET

      Thuthuka - 2012-05-15 10:11

      You snooze you lose Mr Brink. If you were awake when the Apartheid government was cutting up hectares upon hectares of land for individuals, you might have received a piece for next to nothing, and your dream would only be 4 perimeter walls away. You'd only have to worry about sourcing cheap labour to develop your peaceful, forlorn and barren piece of land.

  • Andricca - 2012-05-15 09:29

    when you deal with an afrikaner, you must know that you are dealing with a very cold blooded being, incapable of being honest, always racist and angry, unable to reconcile and be seen as morally responsible - they are tiring

      Harold - 2012-05-15 09:48

      @Andricca Reconcilliation is a two way street but reconilliation will never be complete until both sides say I will take no more from you, you are free of any debt to me and now I will go forward together with you. If you can say that then you can say you are free and reconsiled with you fellow countryman

      Nick - 2012-05-15 10:10

      And this generalised statement is based on your experience of dealing with the majority of afrikaners in the country? If not then you are guilty of making an ignorant racist statement about a whole nation.

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