Mangaung choices crucial - De Klerk

2012-09-07 07:47

Cape Town - The outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung at the end of the year could have a big effect on South Africa's future, former president FW de Klerk said on Thursday.

"I do think the choice of leadership in this December can positively or negatively affect our future in the short and the medium term," he said, speaking at a Cape Town Press Club memorial dinner.

De Klerk said it was important that African National Congress members attending the conference acted in the interests of the country, and not individuals.

"Therefore I think it’s important that, in the context of a party structure, that the conference goers take good account of what is in the best interests not of person A or person B, but what is in the best interests of South Africa."

De Klerk called for a return to the spirit of seeking reconciliation that prevailed in the country in the years immediately after 1994.


"How can we rise above grabbing and looking for positions and filling your pockets?"

South Africa needed political leaders who could serve communities and "put their hands and their heads together in ensuring we tackle the challenges we face".

Responding to a question on whether South Africa should not be promoting itself with a massive international "road show", De Klerk said investors had been frightened by what they had seen happening in South Africa over the past 18 months.

“What has happened at Marikana will make a joke of any road show,” he said, referring to the shooting dead of 34 striking mineworkers by police in North West on August 16.

They were also put off by reports of corruption.

"Investors are put off by factual accounts of the unbridled corruption that is taking place in South Africa. You can't have a road show unless your house is in order.

"We need to sell ourselves, but we need to get the product right [first]."

Unionised, unemployed

Earlier, De Klerk, who turned 76 in March this year, said the main inequality divide in South Africa was no longer between blacks and whites, but between unionised and employed workers on the one hand, and unemployed on the other.

"It is a divide that lies at the heart of our inequality challenge."

It was also a divide "that the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) is determined to defend by vigorously opposing any efforts to make the labour market more flexible".

Another principal cause of inequality was the "catastrophic failure of our education system".

A total of 60% of those who left school did so without a matric, and those who passed matric did so with an average mark of less than 40%.

BEE policies

De Klerk criticised the ruling party’s affirmative action and black economic empowerment policies.

"In the face of increasing national inequality, there is good reason to conclude that the government’s affirmative action and BEE policies have failed to address inequality, and might even have aggravated it.

"This is because most affirmative action and BEE occur in the top 10% to 15% of the income pyramid and have little or no impact on the bottom 85% of our society."

De Klerk, who served as South Africa’s last apartheid president from 1989 to 1994, called for these policies to be abandoned.
"Shift the accent in affirmative action programmes from race to relative disadvantage," he said.

He also offered recommendations for the promotion of equality, including a more flexible labour dispensation, accelerated economic growth, and the rooting out of corruption, among others.

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-09-07 07:52

    My 12 year-old knows this. If you cannot add value, rather say nothing! - 2012-09-07 08:12

      If your 12 year old knows this, what does that say about the ANC - who seems to not have a clue?

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 08:58

      @collenmatsheke - what we are ANGRY about is that there was no proper planning in handing over! When you run a project in a company and you were the project manager of THAT company, if you leave the company, you perform a project handover with the correct documentation, and proper procedures. What has happened here is anything BUT! As about your comment "you white people", I can also say "you black people" always hate "us white people" simply because we are capable of holding ourselves from demanding all the time for something that isn't ours. We use our brains, and work hard to get where we want to be! NOBODY gave us the will to want to learn! We WANT to learn, you simply stop after the word "want"...

      colin.dovey - 2012-09-07 09:06

      I see you yourself say on Facebook: "I was smiling yesterday, I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow simply because life is too short to cry for anything." Pity your laudable sentiments are spoilt by "you white people" - most "white" people in SA today are just like you.....we want a country that WORKS....not the shambolic disaster that this corrupt and self-seeking ANC is subjecting us too....including you....unless of course you accept what they are doing to us ALL? We need to demand good LEADERSHIP......we need people like Prof Jonathan Jansen, Thuli Madonsela, and many other BLACK people.........Zuma's chickens are now coming to roost at Mangle Mangle (should we not call it Manga Manga?), and YOU, and ALL of us are paying price of his, and his cronies profligate, self-seeking lifestyles.

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 09:15

      @Xavier7034 - agreed totally! And collenmatshake studied at a university (something that me as a white person could never afford)! So it makes it VERY SAD that someone like her who studied STILL has this idiotic mentality! Also for those that voted down my first comment - please ensure to understand I did not suggest a division based on colour - but rather a division based on "wants and demands" vs "work and achieve"

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 09:31

      abner.malema - can you PLEASE name one white politician today that sees blacks "inhuman"????! I CAN name quite a few hundred politicians that are super-corrupt!

      Xavier7034 - 2012-09-07 09:43

      @Lil Abner - take the moat out of your Limpoepoe eye - we are talking about corrupt ANC politicians - there are corrupt WHITE ANC Cadres as well - Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sport is under a cloud right now....and the last time I looked, he was white. It is NOT about colour my friend, it is about capability, and performance, with the PEOPLE in mind.....not the P*EP*LS :-)

      arno.gericke.9 - 2012-09-07 09:46

      @mihaip007 - that's exactly what apartheid did. Knob. If your idea were to be implemented then there would be millions of starving little "previously disadvantaged" people, then there would be sanctions against the Utopians for not looking after the less fortunate etc. But maybe it will all be fine because the current government implemented it, not some white supremist government with an evil agenda? Also how would these hard working people be chosen? Who will be the labour force, hard work costs alot of money. . . In order to sort out ALL of our current problems we need to lose the entitlement mentality and also stop harping on the past and constantly using race as an excuse. Educate properly and get rid of unions, fire the entire cabinet and have convict every single one of them on the grounds of dereliction of duty. Set proper examples and have the rule of law govern the country, bring back the death penalty. Stop the government grant culture. . . . the list in endless.

      arno.gericke.9 - 2012-09-07 09:52

      @mihaip007 - sorry for my first comment, misread it. But my second half of my reply is still valid. Just angry at the current state of affairs, and the people who can change it don't, because they're not exposed to the facts at all. They blindly accept the words of their "leaders" as truth. Very sad indeed.

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 09:56

      arno.gericke.9 - I would like to apologise - indeed it was a mere day-dreaming of a utopian society lol! However, we TODAY live in a reverse-apartheid-like society! instead of bridging the divisions! The MAJOR obstacles are NOT the "black hating - white people!". They are the Super-Corrupt that idiots like abner.malema (who probably lives in a bricked house not a SHACK) LOVE to keep in power because of FEAR of "supposed white racists"!!!

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-07 12:12

      The ANC cannot construct any 'plan' other than to take/steal from whites. This is how they functioned before 1994, the way they functioned after '94, the way they will in the future. They simply do not have the cognitive capacity to formulate any other plan. Trevor Manual has desperately tried to create something that has at least got some vestiges of substance, but he is too white, apart from the fact that most of his ANC peers simply do not get it. The ANC will steal from white till everything is finished, then they will revert to begging - as with Zimbabwe, - 2012-09-07 12:31

      I agree. Can someone shut this man up? Where were all the dooo gooooders in the hundreds of years that the National Racist Party ruled South Africa. The fact that BEE doesn't work is not because it's a bad policy, its because we're not bold enough to BOOT people out of their positions and replace them..... That will soon change, and De Klerk knows this..

      marco.bischoff.35 - 2012-09-07 13:27

      Anus, take your 12 year old advice and keep quite

  • altusvanzyl - 2012-09-07 07:54

    Listen to this man. Wise words!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-09-07 08:05

      No value

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-07 07:54

    Mangaung will give the ANC the chance to get back to sleep for a while, between their pillaging and corruption. Otherwise, no change on the horizon.

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 10:05

      if this mangaung would happen more like during the year, we'd all have prosperity in the country for the duration of this nonsense...!

  • customdesign - 2012-09-07 07:54

    Much wisdom, would love to have attended.

  • Greypatriot - 2012-09-07 08:00

    It is sad that we had become reliant on seventy year olds for leadership and guidance. Where are the young warriors that will lead us into the future with integrity, confidence and aspiration?

      jacques.otto.50 - 2012-09-07 18:31

      They are without food or JObs standing in the que for an ANC card hoping for a free ride to no where. Look at the education system post apartheid to accomodate the country. It has been degraded to worse than West African standards. ANCYL has filled their minds with hate and a revolutionary stance to dance and burn to achieve over night what most worked for over a life time. No mate there are no young leaders. Only aspirations towards tenders with the brain capacity the ANC has promoted

  • duze.mthimunye - 2012-09-07 08:03

    I don't take seriously what FW De Klerk says in many instances. He had ample time in the eighties to say this things but he did not because he was part of thr problem. Why is he only saying them now? All what he\s raving a bout now was still applicable then. So sensi ble people should dismiss whatever he says.

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-09-07 08:21

      @duze.mthimunye: Mr De Klerk what you observe now many people knew back in 1994 that this is exactly what would happen. Why would South Africa have been any different to the rest of Africa ? I again refer readers to Dr Manning an African American from the USA u-tube video - and every single word he said proof to be the truth. DO yourself all a big favour and watch this video and decide for yourself if what you observe is happening in South Africa and allready happened in the rest of Africa is any different to what Dr Manning had to say.

      michael.varikas - 2012-09-07 08:37

      I do.. Don't look at his colour read what he is saying..

      shakes.tshabala - 2012-09-07 09:11

      @Duze. You may disagree what FW is saying, but I totally agree. It is quite clear that you are either one of those 60% that left school without completing matric or you have passed matric below the average 40%. That is why we don't have leader in our ciuntry instead of a MALEMA. The unfortunate part is we are only cultivating MALEMA's, and with that mind set will we get NOWHERE.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-09-07 09:38

      theo, if white people hold on to this bastion of a youtube video, no wonder the black people will never agree with us, we have seen the video, its old, the problems we face can not be solved by a video so don't rub it in black peoples faces, it concretes the fact that white people underestimate black people... it sucks man cos we not going forward...not a dig but fact man

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-09-07 10:26

      @randomhero6661 - you can argue that it is an old video.. in fact you can argue any way you want - What we see in Africa is fact ! If others were allowed to partake in the decicion making processes in Africa then you could maybe convince me that the Africans want to make things better. Nothing changed from the time Dr Manning made that video. In fact it got worse !

      anakin.skyvader - 2012-09-07 12:44

      @theo.schoeman.71: Thx for that link, latched onto it now, clip asks that it be emailed to friends etc. so it has disclaimer in it. It's an incovenient truth..

      jacques.otto.50 - 2012-09-07 18:36

      Reality is he is laughing at the obvious failure of this great ANC that revolutionised its people. At least we listen to him once every two weeks instead of the nonsense we must hear from the ANC on a daily basis. Where are those garlic and beetroot remedies or that study conducted in Durban on why lightning occurs. No mate i rather listen to a racist that makes sense than a liberal who hides behind the racist fence of the ANC filling his pockets on the backs of the same people he makes to suffer...

  • sidney.gilroy - 2012-09-07 08:03

    I don`t understand. Is he punting for the ANC ? When is he gonna realise that his old-school mentality is no longer valid ? We are not looking at a future with the ANC governing...we are looking at a future where they split up, rot from the inside and we have a multi-party state. So it`s no use preaching to the lost. Wake up FW. It`s not 1994 anymore. Where the hell have you been ????

  • JAbu.R15 - 2012-09-07 08:06

    What the old man is saying is true,yes affirmative action is workingfor some and disabling some (among us blacks as well). what the ruling party needs to plan on, is to accomodate the people who left school without matric and the those with an avarage of 40%. it wouldnt help to say I will create jobs yet the people who are on hte ground dont have necessary qualifications to do the work. So rahter than giving us empty speeches, they need to think of our brother and sisters who left school and forget about those who finished their tertiary education. now coming to mr deklerk, we would be talking affirmative action in he and his governemnt never discriminated blacks in the first place. so hard luck boss, even though our government is abusing it, it's way better than us not getting anything from them.

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-09-07 09:23

      You sound like you were educated under ANC rule........40% or less, more likely part of the 60% mentioned........the Boss bit gave it away.(Wink)

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-09-07 08:07

    If we could just remove that ANC

      daan.vandenberg.773 - 2012-09-07 09:13

      ndyeboreginaldmazawule - Me and you, plus a million or two likeminded people like us, will not be able to do it. Dit is 'n feit soos 'n koei. The cANCer must be allowed to destroy themselves. They will only come to their senses once the money runs dry, and there is "niks om te skep nie" The writing is on the wall. Those of us that can read have seen it and we understand the message. The masses, those who stopped their schooling in the mid 80's, those who were never tought to read & write, do not understand the message. They will react to the lack of delivery of all the promises made by the cANCer. They will demand and dance, then demand and march, then become violent while marching. All to achieve nothing. They will suck this country dry, then loot what is left. Until we are like the rest of Africa. Hopefully I will not be around to witness the carnage.

  • herman.heil - 2012-09-07 08:07

    But how do you choose a leader from a lot of incompetent criminals?

  • theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-09-07 08:16

    Mr De Klerk what you observe now many people knew back in 1994 that this is exactly what would happen. Why would South Africa have been any different to the rest of Africa ? I again refer readers to Dr Manning an African American from the USA u-tube video - and every single word he said proof to be the truth. DO yourself all a big favour and watch this video and decide for yourself if what you observe is happening in South Africa and allready happened in the rest of Africa is any different to what Dr Manning had to say.

  • hoepfne - 2012-09-07 08:18

    I don't know what the old guy is on about in the late 80's he was advised not put the ANC in power. They would just plunder the countries wealth!!!!! Well done Madiba, your legasy was predicted all those years ago, maybe we can put Verwoerd and Mandela on the platform as two of this countries greatest failures.

  • mart.botha - 2012-09-07 08:19

    The way the ANC is currently structured has as it's supreme goal the retention of power and the freedom this gives them to rape and plunder the fiscas. It has very little or nothing to do with good governance, logic or for that matter the welfare of all the peoples of this country. Dissent amongst the povo illustrates that many people are seeing through their facade.....but quite regrettably blind loyalty to a name only (ANC), an organisation that has mutated into the worst kleptocracy ever experienced, will ensure that the numbers vote will actually be against what is right and desirable for SA. There may be a changing of the guard but the goal will remain. Not one set of 'balls' worth writing home about sums up the officialdom that is the ANC.

      dennis.crossman.9 - 2012-09-07 09:24

      Well said Mantlekilo. It will take a miracle of educating the public to wrestle the power away from them. I fear it will eventually deteriorate into demonstrations and riots similar to the Syrian crisis before people wake up to the fact we are heading for disaster.

  • mkhindana.peter - 2012-09-07 08:22

    This man has a good heart.He's definately going to heaven.God bless him.

      frans.delport - 2012-09-07 08:52

      I'm afraid that's not true, He sold out his own people, how is that for betrayal?

  • russell.l.tait - 2012-09-07 08:28

    De Klerk.......The BIG sell OUT!!

      thamsanqa.d.mahlangu - 2012-09-07 08:48

      Doom Kop!!!

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-09-07 21:19

      I was old enough to remember what actually went down around that time...most of you seem to young to comment.....if you are 40+... you will be aware....that De Klerk was left with no other option.We had sanction by every country in the world on International country allowed to trade with us (things were bad). Then the country was asked to vote...YES for change and... NO if people didn't want change......and it was almost a 75% YES VOTE....So don't turn it around now and blame De Klerk....he was backed into a corner. Don't forget the bombs that were going off in our suburbs at that time was a scary please don't run the man down if you young to remember.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-10 19:47

      Sandra, I completely agree with you. And forget about the sanctions and everything else. Apartheid was WRONG - it had to be changed. Unfortunately, the liberators are now becoming the oppressors of the people they liberated. but that is besides the point - De Klerk did the right thing - Period, point, fulstop.

  • Parlo Damane - 2012-09-07 08:32

    De Klerk is a loser,

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-09-07 09:55

      It's beginning to look that way, he must be questioning handing over the reins to this bunch of corrupt criminals, most of us were happy to see NM take over, we never envisaged this mess.

  • michael.varikas - 2012-09-07 08:36

    I wish any South African leader could use that sort of intellect in these difficult times. Don't care about colour but nice to see some brains being used for a change!!

  • bobo.jane.1 - 2012-09-07 08:37

    I thought I smelled the septic tank on my banana farm...Instead it was Pienk Frikkie who farted through his liberal mouth again...Please go away , far, far away ..Do not speak your sick mind again and leave us alone.

      Joubs1957 - 2012-09-07 09:15

      Very suitable name you have there!

  • fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-09-07 08:40

    The days I put value to FW's opinion has long gone.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-07 08:49

    So cometh out the realities and de Klerk spelt it out well.

  • frans.delport - 2012-09-07 08:50

    We need Moeletsi Mbeki as president! What a wise guy he is.

  • charles.gregory.7906 - 2012-09-07 08:51

    One thing I can see from the comments made is that there is such a thing as a black racist

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-09-07 08:53

    De Klerk go away you custard pie!

      frans.delport - 2012-09-07 08:56

      bwha ha ha

  • elgh.elgh - 2012-09-07 08:54

    "I do think the choice of leadership in this December can positively or negatively affect our future" The Cancer can only negatively affect us, so back to the drawing board.

  • ringetadaniel.mashimbye - 2012-09-07 08:59

    ZUMA is our choice. not julius's Kgalema.

      mpfanisto.makatu - 2012-09-07 09:01

      Zuma is my choice not our choice!

  • attie.mostert.9 - 2012-09-07 09:00

    South Africa needed political leaders who could serve communities and "put their hands and their heads together in ensuring we tackle the challenges we face". If ONLY we can get this

  • mkhindana.peter - 2012-09-07 09:08

    They say listen to your elders,the aged and experienced when the guide you and take the game from them.

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2012-09-07 09:12

    De Klerk for President!

      lucy.nkomo.7 - 2012-09-07 18:29

      yesss 100 percent De Klerk for president .

  • abner.malema - 2012-09-07 09:15

    Through their comments white people are bitter that De Klerk freed blacks from slavery. Instead of helping to grow SA they always complain about ANC. What they must accept is that apartheid will NEVER NEVER happen in SA

      gaby.hide.3 - 2012-09-07 09:37

      @ Abner: You don't sound so sure yourself. This is what is holding us back. The voters continue to cling to the anc, just "in case".

      majwarha.balakisi - 2012-09-07 09:46

      They must go to Israel if they still want Apartheid, but wait a minute they a not friends with Jews either.

  • dennis.crossman.9 - 2012-09-07 09:16

    Disappointing to see narrow minded all you idiots are. You cant blame de Klerk for the current state of affairs since the man he handed the country to is no longer in control. Its like the ANC rhetoric of blaming all the crisis and turmoil in the country on apartheid. Its time you people realise where the problem actually lies and do something about it instead of sitting on the sidelines criticizing someone who is in the know and is trying his best to rectify what he can. WAKE UP SA.

  • kuvha.tshilamatanda - 2012-09-07 09:25

    i still feels that former president De klerk is still one of the best president this country ever produced,He felt the injustice of apartheid and acted for change,he saved the country from civil war where millions of people would have lost their lives,He believed in peace settlement rather than violence means,He did all this because he loved the country and its people,mr de klerk cannot be a sell out,cause what ever he says you could feel that the leader has spoken,it makes sense!

  • majwarha.balakisi - 2012-09-07 09:35

    If De Klerk wants to be involve when the ANC makes decisions or elects its leaders, he must join the ANC. If not usuzela emanzini as the Xhosas but it.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-09-07 10:31

    De Klerk, go away. All this wisdom you speak is known to all of us but when you were in power what did you do. It was the NATS that created the divide we today have. To roll over in the end and surrender your policies of Apartheid did not assist us as you had already done the damage. The current Government has lost control but this does not make you great for pointing it out. The NATS should have created the Rainbow nation 6o years ago. Now you sit in your rocking chair and make so called intelligent statements. This country was doomed the day the NATS took power. Did you believe that you could simply think away 90% of the population as if they do not exist. All they wanted was there share in the sun.

      dennis.crossman.9 - 2012-09-07 14:59

      Hey Richard take your blinkers off man. WAKE UP

  • buwaz - 2012-09-07 11:00

    De klerk said what he said for the love of this country, the man is wise n not bitter,he didn't criticize the current leadership only, but also pointed out possible solutions,south africa need panel of advisers like De klerk,Nelson Mandela, moleleki n Thabo mbeki ppl who will do it for the love of this country not to fill full their pockets. cry my beloved country

  • johan.viljoen.925 - 2012-09-07 12:31

    Nou wonder ek wie het nou weer sy hok geskud

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-09-07 13:31

    de klerk, let me remind u that u yourself stole R80 billion from sa coffers which was later discovered in swissbanks. again u pormoted all white civil servants just before u vacated the office, so save yourself energy and shut-up

  • hamilton.tspoon - 2012-09-07 14:59

    Politics in South Africa is practiced to benefits the public/citizens but politicians' pockets. One would argue that so and so's ideas are those that can benefit the country.However, if you look at the real cause of that particular person to rise certain idea you will find that ego, selfishness, etc are the reasons behind.

  • firstseed.mbeva.9 - 2012-09-07 15:10

    It makes sense

  • hamilton.tspoon - 2012-09-07 15:12

    Politics in South Africa is no longer practiced to benefits the public/citizens but politicians' pockets. One would argue that so and so's ideas are those that can benefit the country.However, if you look at the real cause of that particular person to rise certain idea you will find that ego, selfishness, etc are the reasons behind.

  • WysJouMys - 2012-09-07 15:44

    Ag Frikkie, hou jou bek!! Hoe lyk dit met n glasie "Blanc de blanc, als te verloren"? IDIOOT.

  • banele.xaji - 2012-09-07 18:25

    Spoken like a true white supremicist. Why am I not surprised. Really the last person to talk, but I agree with him on the first point, the rest he just pee'd on!!!

  • wouldntit.benice.1 - 2012-09-10 19:08


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