South Africans remain divided over De Klerk’s role

South Africans remain divided over De Klerk’s role

The death of former president FW de Klerk has drawn mixed reactions from South Africans - as messages continue to pour in from parts of the country and the world. 

FW De Klerk-Final words November 11, 2021

While some have hailed the legacy of South Africa's last apartheid-era president, others were more critical of the former leader saying he never addressed the families of those whose loved ones were brutalised and murdered during his presidency. 

De Klerk died at the age of 85 at his home in Cape Town on Thursday.

Former president Thabo Mbeki's said in a statement that he will be remembered for accepting that apartheid could no longer be used to oppress and deny the majority of people their dignity. 

The Desmond and Leah Legacy Tutu Foundation says de Klerk missed many chances to fully reconcile with all South Africans by acknowledging the full extent of the damage caused by apartheid. 

Through his foundation on Thursday, De Klerk delivered a posthumous message - making an unqualified apology. 

"In this last message, I without qualification, apologise for the pain, hurt and indignity and damage that apartheid has done to Black, Brown and Indians in South Africa." 

The EFF has threatened to protest if flags fly at half-mast, saying a state funeral for de Klerk would be an insult to those who suffered under the apartheid system. 

While details about the funeral arrangements are yet to be released, it's believed the former president will be laid to rest in a private ceremony.

The DA's John Steenhuisen says rather dividing our country, De Klerk’s passing and memory should make us even more determined to work towards a united South Africa.

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