FW de Klerk to have a private funeral on Sunday; no media allowed
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THE funeral of the last apartheid government president FW De Klerk will take place privately next Sunday, his foundation has announced.
The FW de Klerk Foundation said the former president’s cremation and funeral will take place on Sunday, November 21, and it would be a private ceremony for family members.
“It will not be open to the media,” read the brief statement.
De Klerk, 85, died at his Fresnaye home on Thursday morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.
Since his death, critics have been weighing in on whether he should get a state funeral or not.
The EFF has been one of the parties that have criticised De Klerk for his part in upholding the apartheid regime.
In a statement released by the party on Thursday evening, the EFF said it will oppose “a state funeral for a man who died without accounting for the blood on his hands”.
Since his death, ordinary South Africans, including expert political commentators, have been left divided over the legacy of De Klerk.
While being hailed by some for his crucial role in the country’s transition from the apartheid regime to a constitutional democracy, others viewed De Klerk with unforgiving eyes, saying that his stance was always that of supporting white power.
Moments after announcing his passing, his foundation shared a video of the 85-year-old’s last message to citizens.
He shared that his views on apartheid had changed significantly since the 1980s.
De Klerk apologised for the damage which apartheid caused to non-whites.
The apology, he said, was not only in his capacity as the former leader of the National Party, but also as an individual.
“Allow me in this last message to share with you the fact that since the early 80s, my views have changed completely. It was as if I had a conversion and in my hearts of hearts realised that apartheid was wrong,” he said.
A controversial storm circled De Klerk last year when he said that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
He received severe criticism from political parties and NGOs for those remarks.