Former President FW de Klerk has once again denied assertions by the EFF and others on the left that apartheid was a crime against humanity, as declared by the United Nation General Assembly in 1973.
De Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era President, was responding to EFF leader Julius Malema’s attempts on Thursday night to eject him from Parliament, accusing him of being ‘unrepentant’ and a murderer of black political activists in the 80s.
An irate Malema accused Parliament of historical revisionism, saying it was wrong to invite De Klerk, who shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for their efforts to end the white minority rule in South Africa.
“The idea that apartheid was ‘a crime against humanity’ was, and remains, an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity – which have generally included totalitarian repression and the slaughter of millions of people,” said De Klerk on Friday.
De Klerk said most of the deaths occurred in the conflict between the IFP and the ANC.
“Some 23 000 people died in South Africa’s political violence between 1960 and 1994 – of whom fewer than 5 000 were killed by the security forces,” said De Klerk.
“None of this is meant to whitewash the injustices that were undoubtedly committed under apartheid. However, we need a balanced understanding of the past – not one based on a simplistic black/white, good/evil framework – but on a framework that reflects the infinite shades of grey that actually characterise history.”
De Klerk said Malema’s vitriolic attack on him in Parliament was a ‘sincerest form of compliment’.
“We have seen his kind before: those who wear colour-coded uniforms; who use bully boy tactics to disrupt democratic processes;who whip up race hatred and call their leaders “Führer, or Duce, or Commander in Chief,” he said.
Malema said De Klerk was an ‘illegitimate’ President and should not be invited to Parliament on such a grand occasion.
“De Klerk is an unrepentant apologist of apartheid, who is not willing to accept that apartheid was a crime against humanity. It is an insult to those who died and who were tortured under the instructions of De Klerk to have De Klerk sitting in a democratic parliament,” said Malema.