FW de Klerk has undermined race relations in SA

Ideas

FW de Klerk has undermined race relations in SA

How? By not acknowledging apartheid as a crime against humanity or coming clean about atrocities

Columnist

The decision by FW de Klerk, the last white president of SA,to end formal apartheid, unban liberation movements such as the ANC and release Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners was done not for moral reasons or because he believed apartheid was a crime against humanity. It was purely strategic.

De Klerk was a pragmatist, not a moral crusader. He had strategic nous — like Mikhail Gorbachev when he unbundled one-party rule by the Soviet Union Communist Party — to grasp that apartheid’s time was up and make these critical decisions timeously, when the political, economic and international climate appeared propitious.

Apartheid SA’s internationally isolated economy was on the verge of collapse, with white business and Afrikaner intellectuals urging reforms to give blacks a say in political decisions to financially save the country...

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