The SA Communist Party has slammed former President FW de Klerk’s claims that apartheid was not a crime against humanity, saying his concealment of the atrocities of apartheid was ‘unacceptable’ and should be condemned.
“Apartheid cannot be justified in any manner whatsoever, contrary to what de Klerk seeks to do,” the SACP said in a statement on Saturday.
During Thursday’s state of the nation address by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Economic Freedom Fighters disrupted the sitting, calling for De Klerk to leave Parliament for his assertions earlier that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
EFF leader Julius Malema said De Klerk had no remorse for the atrocities committed under apartheid and therefore does not deserve to be a guest of a democratic parliament.
“We have a man who has got blood of innocent people in this house which is supposed to represent the will of our people. And therefore, it is incorrect for you (Madam Speaker Thandi Modise) to have extended an invitation to De Klerk because he is a murderer, he has got blood on his hands, the people are turning in their graves,” said Malema.
In response to EFF’s attack, De Klerk once again denied that apartheid was a crime against humanity despite a UN General Assembly convention in 1973 saying so.
De Klerk, in a statement issued by his foundation on Friday, said the idea that apartheid was ‘a crime against humanity’ was an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatize white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity – which have generally included totalitarian repression and the slaughter of millions of people.
The SACP said the spurious comments made by de Klerk were a lie that was long exposed during the apartheid era.
SACP said: “The United Nations General Assembly was correct to adopt the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in 1973 and declare apartheid, which was systemic and widespread, a crime against humanity.”
“FW De Klerk is the last President of the apartheid era – a racist, sexist, violent and murderous regime of national oppression, patriarchal domination and merciless capitalist exploitation. This is a United Nations convention and resolution, rather than, as de Klerk wants society to believe, “an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans…”
The SACP said De Klerk’s apology for the havoc and sufferings endured by millions of South African people was therefore insincere.
“While we have made commendable social progress since ending the apartheid era in 1994, the hard fact is that our country is yet to overcome the legacy of apartheid. Therefore the sufferings endured by the people as a result of apartheid are not limited to the generations of the oppressed that lived during the apartheid era but continue to varying extents as a result of its entrenched or persisting legacy,” said the SACP.