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FW de Klerk is taking his secrets to his grave, says Imtiaz Cajee

FW de Klerk. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

FW de Klerk. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 12, 2021


Johannesburg - The family of anti-apartheid activist, political leader and activist in the underground SACP, Ahmed Timol has weighed in on Thursday’s death of the former apartheid president FW de Klerk.

Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Cajee said the tragedy was that apartheid victims have continuously reached out to perpetrators to say, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) passed, but they needed the truth.

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“As victims, all we are asking for is to get full and honest disclosure, help us to fill those empty spaces in the puzzle,” said Cajee.

Reacting to De Klerk’s death, Cajee said they were passing condolences to his family but in the same breath their thoughts went to the families of the Cradock Four, the young boys who were killed in Transkei in the ’90s when De Klerk approved the raid by the Defence Force that killed innocent children.

“We wanted De Klerk to ask for forgiveness, to take responsibility for his and the apartheid regime’s actions for decades, and this was not forthcoming. What is more painful is that earlier this year his foundation issued a press release where they called upon the National Prosecuting Authority not to proceed with the re-investigation and prosecution of TRC matters.

“Most importantly, De Klerk referred to a secret settlement between the Nationalist Party and the liberation movement and on that particular basis he argued that (the apartheid regime and NP) are not to be prosecuted. That is why I wrote a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa to respond to those allegations. Ramaphosa must make that secret settlement document available to let the country know who signed the document and on what basis did De Klerk make those allegations,” said Cajee.

He said all that victims wanted was to ask for an apology.

“The challenge we face as apartheid victims is who do we forgive? Because apartheid perpertrators don’t ask for forgiveness. Like late former apartheid policeman João Rodrigues, he refused to apologise, refused to take responsibility, he continued with his life and took the truth to his grave, and this is the reality we face, and we are asked to continue moving forward in this country and continue the principle of reconciliation. Who do we reconcile with when an apartheid leader had ample time to apologise but failed to do so?” asked Cajee.

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He said Ramaphosa was there during negotiations that unfolded. He said Ramaphosa must come clean.

Cajee asked why would the De Klerk Foundation issue the media release about the secret settlement, and said it raised an alarm bell.

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Related Topics:

FW De KlerkApartheid