South Africans have shared mixed reactions at the news of former apartheid South Africa president, FW de Klerk’s passing. Some have gone as far as calling for him not to get a state funeral.
De Klerk passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 85 after battling cancer.
His reputation as president of a divided South Africa seems to be following him to his grave, as South Africans share differing memories and views on the deceased elderly National Party leader.
Some political parties including the Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party have sent heartfelt messages of condolences on the passing of the former apartheid statesman.
Social Media re-action, messages of condolences:
The DA extends its deepest condolences to the de Klerk family. May they find strength and comfort in this difficult time. And, rather than dividing our country, may his passing and his memory make us even more determined to work towards a united South Africa.
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) November 11, 2021
— Inkatha Freedom Party (@IFPinParliament) November 11, 2021
Local actress, Pearl Thusi did not mince her words in calling for De Klerk not to be offered a state funeral, saying if he is granted such, it would be an insult to the victims of apartheid and its legacy.
Calls not to grant him a state funeral:
If FW DE KLERK gets a state funeral… That will be a huge middle finger to the people who suffered under the apartheid regime in this country.
— Pearl Thusi (@PearlThusi) November 11, 2021
Another Twitter user has shared similar sentiments to Thusi, posting a video of apartheid police assaulting a black man.
FW De Klerk doesn’t deserve a State Funeral!!!!pic.twitter.com/ydRPfwEBLv
— Vusi.mz (@VusiMzobe) November 11, 2021
Many have questioned the praise he has been given for his role in “ushering” South Africa into democracy.
Journalist, Karyn Maughan referred to some of the apartheid crimes de Klerk never testified on, including that of Matthew Goniwe and his comrades, known as the Cradock 4.
Author and commentator, Kim Heller also labelled him as “an un-noble man whose government committed crimes against humanity.”
Questions on his legacy:
The family of the murdered Cradock 4 activists fought for years to get answers – under oath – from FW de Klerk about the apartheid State Security Council's instruction that the men be "permanently removed from society"
De Klerk sat on the Council
They never got their answers https://t.co/tsCu5PFJaz
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) November 11, 2021
Apartheid President FW de Klerk has died
An un-noble man whose government committed crimes against humanity and destroyed the lives of thousands of black South Africans pic.twitter.com/JtDjcLP9ba
— Kim Heller (@kimheller3) November 11, 2021
In one of his last media interviews with the SABC, De Klerk didn’t want to agree with the notion that UN declaration that apartheid was a crime against humanity. Some brought up his stubborn stance on apartheid.
Apartheid, a crime against humanity, denialism:
“Apartheid was not a crime against humanity” FW De Klerk:Last Apartheid President
— #TheLordOfTheMedia (@samkelemaseko) November 11, 2021
Nelson Mandela was freed by all the people in South Africa and the world who fought against FW de Klerk and the evil, failed regime he lead. FW de Klerk did not free anyone from anything and he died denying that Apartheid was a crime against humanity. https://t.co/50ibEb22mw
— Neo (@Neo_url) November 11, 2021
De Klerk passed away on Thursday morning, his family is yet to announce the date of his burial.