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'If FW followed the generals we'd have had another 5 to 10 years of bloodshed'

18 February 2020 8:10 AM
Tags:
FW De Klerk
FW De Klerk Foundation
APARTHEID
There is no defending apartheid, and FW De Klerk's statement was an error in judgement, says the foundation's Dr Theuns Eloff.

The FW de Klerk Foundation has officially withdrawn its contentious statement that apartheid was not a crime against humanity, and has apologised. Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair of the foundation Dr Theuns Eloff joins Refilwe on air to discuss this.

RELATED: Refilwe Moloto also spoke to the Nelson Mandela Foundation for its response: Click to listen - NMF welcomes retraction but hopes De Klerk will fully renounce apartheid

Eloff acknowledges the statement was a mistake.

The statement released on Friday morning in response to the EFF...was an error in judgement, especially the part about apartheid not being a crime against humanity and being a propaganda ploy of the Soviet Union and the NC.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

Eloff says an internal board discussion as held via email.

The majority of the board decided that it should be retracted. The result was the statement released yesterday.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

RELATED: 'It was totally unacceptable' - De Klerk withdraws offensive apartheid remarks

Refilwe questions how a man such as De Klerk who engaged in a lengthy and challenging negotiation process leading in the 1990s was triggered by the comments of the EFF in Parliament leading to a statement being released.

And it is not the first time De Klerk has made such statements, she adds.

It's difficult to say. It was an error in judgement. I can say no more than that. I myself was not responsible for that. And that's why we tried to correct it as soon as possible. All I can say is that it was done in a moment of emotionality - but it was a mistake.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

I agree there is no defending apartheid.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

Eloff states that three months after De Klerk became president in 1989, he released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners and within three years had dismantled apartheid legislation.

History is very clear. He had choices. If he had not fired his generals - the securocrats of PW Botha were very strongly in control - he had decided to take the route of negotiation well-knowing that it would probably cost him his job - but that apartheid would be destroyed by it. That is the decision he took.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

If he had decided to follow the generals we would have had another five to ten years of bloodshed.

Dr Theuns Eloff, Former CEO and a current trustee and advisory board chair - FW de Klerk Foundation

Listen to the interview below:


18 February 2020 8:10 AM
Tags:
FW De Klerk
FW De Klerk Foundation
APARTHEID

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