President Cyril Ramaphosa says there can be no doubt that apartheid was a crime against humanity and to deny this is, “treasonous”. The President was giving his reply to the debate on his State of the Nation Address at a joint sitting of Parliament.

This follows outrage at the recent comments by the last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk and his foundation. They disputed whether apartheid was a crime against humanity as had been declared by the United Nations (UN).

They have both since withdrawn the comments and apologised. Ramaphosa says there can be no defence for the horrors of apartheid.

“Apartheid was inherently a crime against humanity, even before it was so declared by the UN in 1973. Apartheid was so immoral in its conception and so devastating in its execution that there is no South African living today that has not been touched by its legacy. I would even go on to say that to deny this, in my view is treasonous,” says Ramaphosa.

Watch President Ramaphosa respond to the SONA debate in the video below :

The controversy around FW de Klerk’s statement about apartheid has engulfed South Africa. Following De Klerk’s statement that apartheid was not a crime against humanity, the Economic Freedom Fighters raised objections against his presence in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address last week.

The party says De Klerk has the blood of innocent people on his hands.

Watch De Klerk make the controversial statement, during an interview with SABC News, in the video below:

WATCH | The statement by former apartheid President FW De Klerk has sparked an outcry from all sectors. What is your reaction to comments attributed to De Klerk – that he was not aware of the United Nation's declaration that apartheid was a crime against humanity?

Posted by SABC News Online on Monday, 17 February 2020

 

De Klerk’s statement elicited many comments from different walks of life. Below are a selected few: