Former president Thabo Mbeki has stayed true to his word that he would send the country’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, the UN Convention declaration that apartheid was a crime against humanity.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that De Klerk had been served by Mbeki with documentation explaining that the apartheid system had been declared a crime against humanity.
This followed De Klerk’s comments earlier this month during an interview with the SABC in which he apologised for apartheid, but also said that it was not a crime against humanity.
Mbeki sent De Klerk the UN Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
This came after De Klerk’s remarks to Mbeki when he told him that he was not aware of the convention.
De Klerk’s comments were widely condemned across the country by political parties, NGOs, on social media and by the international community.
At the State of the Nation Address on February 13, the EFF disrupted the start of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address by more than an hour as they demanded that De Klerk, who they referred to as an apartheid apologist, should leave the public gallery, while also branding him a murderer with blood on his hands.
However, the next day the FW de Klerk Foundation also insisted that the oppressive apartheid system had not been a crime against humanity.
In a statement issued on Friday, just a day after the uproar in Parliament, the foundation said the claim was Soviet propaganda.
The comments from the foundation also received a huge public backlash, with even the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation slamming the De Klerk Foundation, saying that his comments were irresponsible.
Amid the public backlash, De Klerk last week issued a statement apologising for the comments.
“I agree with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation that this is not the time to quibble about the degrees of unacceptability of apartheid. It was totally unacceptable.
“The FW de Klerk Foundation has accordingly withdrawn its statement of February 14 unconditionally, and apologises for the confusion, anger and hurt it caused,” De Klerk said.
While in KZN addressing an ANC political school, Mbeki said he would send the relevant documents as, according to Mbeki, who sat next to De Klerk during the Sona, De Klerk did not know the UN had declared apartheid a crime against humanity in 1973. Political Bureau