Former president FW de Klerk. Photo: Ross Jansen

Twitter was abuzz after comments by former president FW de Klerk on CNN.

De Klerk was the most popular topic yesterday, with some questioning whether he was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

When asked during Thursday’s interview whether he agreed apartheid was morally repugnant, De Klerk reportedly said: “In as much as it trampled human rights it was and remains morally indefensible.”

But he then reportedly said about the homeland system: “But the concept of giving, as the Czechs have it now, and the Slovaks have it, of saying that ethnic unity with one culture with one language ‘everyone’ can be happy and can fulfil their democratic aspirations in an own state, that is not repugnant.”

About blacks in the homelands, he said: “

They were not disenfranchised, they voted. They were not put in homelands, the homelands were historically there. If only the developed world would put so much money into Africa, which is struggling with poverty, as we poured into those homelands. How many universities were built? How many schools?

“At that stage the goal was separate but equal, but separate but equal failed.” He said he later became “a convert” against the system.

Many on social networks questioned whether De Klerk was really apologetic for apartheid. One tweeted: What do Jessica Leandra, Tshidi Thamana and De Klerk have in common”, referring to racist comments made by the two models last week.

“Can’t sleep after FW De Klerk interview on CNN. Counting to 10 isn’t helping. Justifying apartheid in 2012? and apparently homelands were great!” Talk Radio 702 host Redi Tlhabi wrote.

Another tweeter, (at)siyamtandaskota, said: “This man is insane!!! Now he says blacks weren’t disenfranchised – they voted in the homelands. Is FW De Klerk mad??!!”