Former President FW de Klerk stands next to his statue after the unveiling of the statues of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli. South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize winners, on Nobel Square at the Waterfront. Picture Brenton Geach/African News Agency(ANA)
Former President FW de Klerk stands next to his statue after the unveiling of the statues of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli. South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize winners, on Nobel Square at the Waterfront. Picture Brenton Geach/African News Agency(ANA)

Investigate FW de Klerk apartheid remarks, ATM tells Human Rights Commission

By Bongani Hans Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Durban - The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has called on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate former president FW de Klerk for his now infamous utterances about apartheid, that the evil regime was not a crime against humanity. 

The ATM approached the SAHRC on Monday after the FW de Klerk Foundation apologised for saying apartheid was not a crime against humanity. 

In a statement, ATM said De Klerk should be investigated for hate speech “and apply the appropriate sanction”. 

In a letter addressed to SAHRC chief executive officer Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, ATM president Vuyo Zungula said de Klerk and his foundation had embarrassed the country’s constitution.

Zungula said despite the apology, de Klerk should still be reprimanded “for his irresponsible behaviour and for undermining the peaceful principles in the Constitution”. 

“The ATM is also calling on the commission to pronounce that indeed comments by de Klerk amount to hate speech and that he is not a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize,” wrote Zungula. 

Talking to Independent Media on Tuesday, ATM spokesperson Mxolisi Makhubu said the commission had only acknowledged receiving Zungula’s letter. He said the foundation’s apology did not make a difference as the damage had already been done.

“You constantly find people like Vicki Momberg (who was convicted of hate speech) popping up in the media saying things then they come back issuing statements where they apologise.

“But that does not erase the fact that they have caused an uproar in the country.

“We cannot have the struggle of the blacks and marginalized people looked at as if it is absolutely nothing,” he said.

He said the ATM could not prescribe to the SAHRC what action to take against de Klerk. 

“All people who are saying that apartheid was not a crime against humanity should be investigated.

SAHRC spokesperson Gail Smith did not respond to questions sent to her. 

Political Bureau

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