Cape Town - “I, without qualification, apologise for the pain, hurt, indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to black, brown and Indians in South Africa.”
These were words of the late former president FW de Klerk who died on Thursday morning following his battle with cancer.
The FW de Klerk Foundation, moments after announcing his passing, 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 1980’s.
Video supplied: FW de Klerk Foundation
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 80’s, my views have changed completely. It was as if I had a conversion and in my hearts of hearts realised that apartheid was wrong.
“I realised that we have arrived at a place which was morally unjustifiable,” De Klerk said.
He said the National Party took far reaching measures to ensure negotiations and a new dispensation which could bring justice to all.
De Klerk further mentioned that he takes pride in the country’s Constitution. “I’m proud of our Constitution – the Constitution which we hammered out in the negotiations which started in 1990 – and which culminated in the final Constitution of 1996.
“I fully associate myself with the values and principles enshrined in our Constitution and I am deeply concerned about the undermining of many aspects of the Constitution which we perceive almost day to day.
“It is my plea that the government, all parties, civil society and all South Africans should once again embrace the Constitution and interpret it in the balanced way which the Constitution demands,” said De Klerk.