File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA).
File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA).

De Klerk: 'Element of truth' in claim that life was better under apartheid

By STAFF REPORTER Time of article published Apr 24, 2019

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Former president FW de Klerk has said that there was element of truth that life and public services was much better under the apartheid government.

"I think there is an element of truth in it not because of race or colour but because of bad appointments made in the nine last years inter alia cadres appointed instead of people with the right experience, people with the right training into management posts.

"People were appointed because of their connections instead of because knowledge and experience and I think this harmed service delivery tremendously," he said.

De Klerk made the comment during one of eNCA's pre-recorded interviews with former presidents.

Asked if the post-1994 democratic government did the right thing to pay apartheid government debts, De Klerk also said: "I think it is a correct thing for any succeeding government to honour debts of a previous government. There was benefit for everybody from the loans made by the previous governments before 1994."

The former president said the loans were used to grow the economy and create jobs.

De Klerk dismissed perception that loans obtained by apartheid governments were meant for the white minority.

"The loans were asked for to achieve certain goals, not specifically for minority. There is no evidence that loans were used only for whites."

He also said the loans, as an example, were used to build universities and install infrastructure from which everybody benefited.

"What I am saying its a fallacy to say loans were given just for the benefit of white people. Loans were given for the country's goals."

De Klerk also said power utility, Eskom, worked in 1994.

"There were no blackouts. Everybody who had electricity benefited from it ... and now everybody suffers because Eskom is dysfunctional."

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