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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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