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Former South African President Infuriates South Africans With Comments on Apartheid

Former President F.W. de Klerk claims that 'Apartheid was not a crime against humanity'.

Former South African president F.W. de Klerk has stirred controversy after he made claims that "Apartheid was not a crime against humanity".

The former statesman made the comments during a number of interviews held amid events last week which were commemorating the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison.


Following de Klerk's controversial statement, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema called him an "unrepentant apologist of Apartheid" and demanded he be removed from the House during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA). However, members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) insisted that de Klerk remain in the House.

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As if de Klerk's personal statements were not enough, his foundation then issued a statement which further supported his sentiment and went on to describe any opposing views as "soviet agitprop"—propaganda meant to agitate.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and now the ANC, have all condemned de Klerk's comments and accused him of "inciting hatred" according to News24.

Many South Africans, including Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela, have expressed outrage at de Klerk's comments. Many even referred to the 2002 Rome Statute which explicitly describes Apartheid as "inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime".

While de Klerk now claims that he had no idea that the international community had categorized Apartheid as a crime against humanity, South Africans very rightly pointed out that he should have "instinctively" known that a regime that oppressed and murdered thousands of Black South Africans for decades was exactly that.

There are now renewed calls for de Klerk's Nobel Peace Prize, which he shares with the late Mandela, to be revoked. Read some of the responses from South Africans on social media below:









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#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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