FW de Klerk apology must be visible through actions, says ANC
Meanwhile, Sello Hatang, the chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, slammed de Klerk and called for dialogue.
"We believe that this kind of statement (the retraction and the apology) does not take us anywhere in terms of the nation-building, reconciliation path that Nelson Mandela put us on, but also in tackling the difficult systemic issues the nation is dealing with.”
"In terms of engaging with the FW de Klerk Foundation, we believe that that is the only way forward. The rise of racism and the rise of the denial of crimes such as apartheid is something that we see progressing.
"If we are to do anything right, it is to continue to engage those kind of voices with a view to ensuring that we can then transform our nation into one that [sees clearly]," he said.
De Klerk on Monday apologised for his reluctance to fully accept the classification of apartheid as a crime against humanity and said he concurred with the wording of the Statute of Rome, which describes it as such.
The climb-down came amid a furore after his eponymous foundation last Friday likened to "Soviet agitprop" the pressure on De Klerk over recent remarks where he, like in the past, appeared to take issue with the definition of the racial oppression of South Africa's black majority as crime against humanity.
That statement came a day after the EFF disrupted the opening of parliament with a demand that South Africa's last white president leave the National Assembly, terming him a "murderer" and apartheid apologist.
"I have taken note of the vehement reaction to our response to the EFF’s attack on me at the State of the Nation address on Thursday night," De Klerk said.
"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 decided to withdraw its statement of 14 February unconditionally and apologises for the confusion, anger and hurt that it has caused," De Klerk said on Monday.
He added that while apartheid was dismantled by 1994, when the Statute of Rome was adopted four years later, it was ranked as a crime against humanity and defined it as “inhumane acts ...committed in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
"The FW de Klerk Foundation supports this provision," De Klerk said.
African News Agency