The United Nations (UN) has rubbished F.W. De Klerk‘s claims that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
This comes after De Klerk – the last apartheid-era president – said in an interview with the SABC last week, that he did not “fully” agree with the UN’s ruling that apartheid was a crime against humanity.
The UN unequivocally confirmed that apartheid was a well-established crime against humanity because it meets two key elements of being both widespread and systematic.
Report by our Correspondent in UN, Sherwin Bryce-Pease:
Furore over De Klerk’s utterances
De Klerk served as Deputy President when Nelson Mandela was President of South Africa in 1994.
Reacting to De Klerk’s remarks, the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang said it’s time Parliament looked at ways to enact what it calls a ‘Hate Law’.
The foundation has been involved in freedom of speech vs hate speech legal battle with Afriforum.
Hatang says it should not be left only to institutions such as theirs to address such issues.
“Maybe it’s time that Parliament says let us look at hate law, let’s look at what happens when you have a nation that’s trying to reimage itself, rebuild itself and you have elements who still believe that they have every right to cause insult to cause further pain, in fact, to just disregard the pain of others. So I live in hope that Parliament maybe will look at these things and say enough is enough.”
[WATCH] Interview of former President on unbanning of political parties and Mandela’s release:
During Thursday’s state of the nation address, the Economic Freedom Fighters disrupted the sitting, calling for De Klerk to leave the National Assembly.
EFF leader, Julius Malema, said former President has 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] 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.” Watch:
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission also weighed in, saying that it would be difficult to charge the former statesman over his utterances.
The commission’s CEO Tseliso Thipanyane says, “Since 1994 we’ve said lets us move from the past to the future and also remember the ANC itself took a number of National Party members Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk became ministers in the new South Africa so we can’t focus on one person and not focus on others there are a number of people who were in the previous apartheid government and became officials in the new South Africa.”