Former president. FW de Klerk’s controversial remarks that apartheid is not a crime against humanity also surfaced in the debate on state speech in parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon’s proceedings began civilly with no disruption. Unlike last Thursday night when EFF MPs caused havoc with their demands that De Klerk leave parliament and that Ramaphosa must first resign from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan before starting his state speech.
De Klerk’s remarks surfaced on Tuesday when ANC deputy whip Doris Dlakude, as the first speaker in her speech, urged all South Africans to guard against the looming racial tensions in the country, compounded by “counter-revolutionaries” , an indirect reference to the EFF.
“FW de Klerk’s statements were pitiful, insensitive and reckless. He should have known that the United Nations declared apartheid as a crime against humanity. His remarks sow seeds of hatred and racism. ”
Dlakude appealed to all political leaders to refrain from making such statements.
De Klerk said in a statement that he apologized for the confusion, anger and pain it caused. De Klerk says he noted the tremendous reaction after the EFF’s attack on him.
John Steenhuisen, interim DA leader, said in his speech during the debate that South Africa is at a turning point “and we can all feel it. However, there can be no excuse for what happened during the state speech last week. Most of us were ashamed. We do not have to like each other, but we must respect the parliamentary rules.
“People expect us better to provide solutions to pressing problems and not to show off in front of television cameras.
“We need to find a way to work things out. Last week’s events cannot be repeated. We are all disappointed in the current state of the nation, ”Steenhuisen said.