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de Klerk's statement on Apartheid leaves South Africans divided

by Daniel Itai Johannesburg, South Africa
25 Feb 2020 at 08:19hrs | Views
Many South Africans are still reeling and soaking up to former South African President, Frederik Willem de Klerk's statement on Apartheid.

A couple of days ago in an interview with SABC News the former South African President said Apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

His statement has since left many South Africans divided. Apartheid which was a period of severe racism which transpired between 1948 and 1994 saw a lot of black people being brutally assaulted and marginalized because of the color of their skin.

To date, many black South Africans are still marginalized because of the color of their skin. There are also places where black people are still not allowed such as Orania in the Northern Cape province.

Prominent lawyer and social activist, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said the fact that Apartheid was a crime against humanity couldn't be disputed.

"Legally speaking, Apartheid as a crime against humanity is well settled there is not even a debate. What remains is a group of people that are hiding their hands under the sand and denying what everybody knows," said Advocate Ngcukaitobi.

Most of the top jobs especially in the private sector are still being allocated to white people. The inequality gap between the rich and the poor is still massive, with black people making up the poor class.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, senior researcher and facilitator of Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, pointed out that De Klerk's statement reminded him of how much white work was urgently needed among white South Africans.

"The magnitude gap between how those responsible for Apartheid look back at that evil system and the grinding lived experience of this human abomination continues to haunt South Africa. De Klerk's limited historical and moral vision is, tragically, still representative of many from similar backgrounds," said Verwoerd.

Although De Klerk later apologised for his statement on Apartheid many still want him to show his sincerity with some even planning on perusing legal action against him.

"It cannot be again said that Apartheid was not a crime against humanity. It was a crime against oppressed people in South Africa, I would go as far as to say that denying this is treasonous," said South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.

However, some South Africans urged the nation not to keep reflecting on Apartheid and forgive the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

John Moodey, Gauteng leader of the Democratic Alliance, South Africa's main opposition party, called on South Africans to forgive the embattled former statesman.

Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, Full Professor of Political Science and Deputy Dean of Research at the University of the Western Cape, argued that accepting the apology would be premised on consistency and the resolve to promote social cohesion and nation building.

"Accepting his apology would not be tantamount to saying that South Africans believe that he did not know that Apartheid was evil and that it was declared a crime against humanity by the UN. After all, Africans in general and South Africans, in particular, are a forgiving people," said Professor Mngomezulu.

Source - Daniel Itai

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