Hon. Speaker, FW De Klerk has enjoyed considerable attention from the media once due his so-called controversial statements, while still claiming himself as a friend of our beloved former President Nelson Mandela. In May 2012 during an interview with CNN, former President De Klerk made controversial remarks, “stating that black people were not disenfranchised in the homelands, they also had the right to vote and that the Apartheid government invested a lot of money in the homelands”.
Hon. Members, De Klerk speaks with two tongues, at first he defended the morality of apartheid, and then in same breath he acknowledged how the apartheid system broke several Human Rights laws. Yet, De Klerk mourns for the Apartheid system. De Klerk wants to mislead South Africans and the rest of the world by belittling the cruelty, inhuman and unequal nature black people had to live with under the apartheid regime. FW De Klerk needs to be called into order!
Hon. Speaker, one could argue that De Klerk’s comments might have been strategical, considering the fact that it was in the same week when ANC at national level was to meet with various Afrikaner groups regarding the proposed “Coordinating Desk”. However, I want to make it clear, to all South Africans, at no point or during any discussion should the Apartheid system ever be defended or characterised as morally correct. South Africans responded to these comments with outrage on social media while others even called him bitter, some suggested De Klerk should return the Nobel Peace Prize.
Hon. Members, four years later, South Africans are once again outraged by statements made by Former Apartheid President FW De Klerk. De Klerk and his Foundation stated that black people in South Africa demonstrates “the most virulent and dangerous racism”.
Hon. Speaker, South Africans once again reacted to these controversial statement by De Klerk. The FW De Klerk Foundation even went as far as to lay a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) over 45 post on social media. Where was the FW De Klerk Foundation when the Apartheid regime killed, violated, dehumanised and tortured black people. Where was the FW De Klerk Foundation, when the Apartheid regime separated fathers from their families, while black women had to raise their children and clean their houses?
Hon. Members, I want to make the ANC stance clear on issues of racism and inequality. We cannot compare racist remarks made by the Sparraw’s and the De Klerks of South Africa, to the 45 post on his Foundation’s social media platform. Hon. Speaker, the remarks by the Sparrows and the De Klerk’s in South Africa, speaks to some white people’s deep routed hatred towards black people, the believe that their race is somehow superior. Hon. Speaker, every action has a reaction, when insulting millions of black people, South Africans will respond and sometimes these responses are triggered by the painful memories of the past.
Hon. Speaker, under no circumstances does the ANC government condemn any racist remarks, threats of violence, or acts of violence based on racial, sexist or any other discrimination. We believe that all South Africans are equal before the law, should have equal opportunities and live in peace.
Hon. Members, we are all affected by the inequalities created by the apartheid system. Karl Marx writings on slavery, race and class in relation to capital demonstrated that he was ahead of his time. “The slave status was not a natural phenomenon biologically proscribed by one’s race…its racialization was another form of similar kinds of weapon”. Simply put, the promotion of slavery, racial distinction and class is a kind of weapon used against people, this is the weapon De Klerk and others want to use against black and white people in South Africa. Indeed, the people are affected by unemployment (but that’s all people, black, white, coloured’s), but that does not give anyone the excuse to use their social-economic status as an excuse to make racist remarks, such as the case of Matthew Theunissen.
Hon. Speaker, there are domestic and international forces that are doing their best to divide this great country of ours. South Africans should not be influenced, manipulated or persuaded that we cannot stand united and collectively develop the South African economy that will change the lives of everyone. This is only possible under the leadership of the ANC government.