South Africa: #deklerkmustfall Protest Planned for Cape Town, in Response to Apartheid Statements

Former South African president FW De Klerk, second from left, and his wife Elita, far left, with parliamentary presiding officers before the February 13, 2020 State of the Nation address.
16 February 2020

A protest is planned for Wednesday in Cape Town against former president FW de Klerk and his foundation.

Convener of the #DeKlerkMustFall protest Songezo Mazizi told News24 that they were expecting a number of citizens and activists who were concerned about the foundation's recent statement about apartheid to take part.

The picket is expected to start at 13:00 outside the FW De Klerk Foundation's offices in Plattekloof, Cape Town.

In a recent statement, the foundation said apartheid was not a crime against humanity. It said the notion that apartheid was a crime against humanity had merely been "Soviet agitprop" - propaganda meant to agitate, News24 reported.

Mazizi said they would be handing over a memorandum. One of their demands is that the foundation De Klerk personally retract the statement and apologise to South Africa.

"We are saying that they must retract the statement and De Klerk must apologise for the killing of our people and be held accountable for the killings," he said.

On Monday, the picket organisers would be giving notice to the City of Cape Town about the planned peaceful protest, Mazizi said.

He added that, should there be no one to accept the memorandum, the committee would plan a way forward.

Foundation spokesperson Dave Stewart confirmed to News24 that it was aware of the planned protest and would issue a "general statement" on Monday about the action.

Stewart could not give further details on whether they would be retracting their statement on apartheid.

The heat surrounding the former president started on Thursday during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address, where EFF leader Julius Malema rose on a point of order, asking that De Klerk be removed from the National Assembly chamber's public gallery.

Malema was responding to recent comments made by De Klerk in interviews commemorating his speech which unbanned the liberation movements 30 years ago, News24 reported.

"He is an unrepentant apologist of apartheid who is not willing to accept that apartheid was [a] crime against humanity," Malema said.

Various political parties have also spoken out, calling for the foundation to retract its statements.

The ANC called on the foundation to unconditionally retract its statement that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ruling party had urged government leaders to tighten provisions around hate speech "and declare the denial of apartheid as a crime against humanity as a crime, as is done in other jurisdictions such as Germany where holocaust denial is not tolerated in any form".

"In the interests of advancing reconciliation and nation-building, the ANC calls on the FW de Klerk Foundation to unconditionally retract its irresponsible statement and start showing commitment to the building of a South Africa we all want," he said.

He added that the United Nations had declared apartheid a crime against humanity.

"[It] has been well documented. The FW De Klerk Foundation, instead of continuing to plead blind ignorance, would do well to research this history."

Source: News24

More From: News24Wire

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