SA storms will be followed by sunshine - De Klerk

2016-03-17 17:27
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – South Africa is once again experiencing difficult times, but is in a much better position than before to deal with challenges, former president FW de Klerk said on Thursday.

"Our courts have retained independence and the determination to defend the rights of ordinary citizens," he said at a Cape Town Press Club lunch.

The lesson had also been learnt that the markets would punish economic and political misbehaviour.

However, he and his wife Elita remained positive.

"We can see the storms surging in from the north east, and the north west for that matter, but we have learnt that they will be followed by sunshine and that South Africa will remain a land of hope."

De Klerk cut a chocolate cake in a room of singing people ahead of his 80th birthday.

He had earlier called on decent members of the ANC to end "state capture".

Asked who he thought should succeed Zuma if he resigned or was redeployed, he said it was not up to him, but up to the ANC to decide.

It was his opinion that the candidate should understand the economy and be a strong supporter of the national development plan.

A relaxed De Klerk also took the time to reflect on his political career.

He felt the climax of his career was the day he ceased to be president in 1994.

"I felt fulfilled, because I had relinquished power, not to Nelson Mandela or the ANC, but to a new dispensation in which the Constitution and rule of law, and not the government of the day, would be supreme. The rest they say is history."

He had travelled a long journey from the West Rand smallholding and peach orchard of his childhood, learning many lessons along the way.

Tears sprung to his eyes as he thanked his wife for greatly enriching his golden years.

Taking off his glasses to wipe his tears, he said to laughter: "I have to get rid of this. I thought I would outgrow this by 80."

Read more on:    fw de klerk  |  gupta family  |  cape town  |  politics

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