The second day of February marked 30 years since the last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, made the historical move to unban liberation movements and release political prisoners. The words from his speech were echoed as South Africans reflected on the country’s past.
Addressing members of parliament, De Klerk touched on several issues, including the death penalty, on which he announced a moratorium, human rights and the negotiation process which would be followed by the transfer of power.
On Twitter, South Africans shared their experiences of living under apartheid rule, and debated whether De Klerk should have a say in the current state of SA, and if he deserves to be hailed a hero.
Here’s a glimpse into the views shared on Twitter:
I agree, De Klerk's speech leaves bitter pill but I think post 94 certain things were done for reconciliation & that included co-opting Nats in govt, Mpendulo matter was dealt with in the TRC, I'm going to relook at that. But I wonder if all this speaks to failed reconciliation
— Johnnie Jj Isaac (@J4journals) February 3, 2020
Apartheid never took a vow to take care of blacks. In fact the opposite happened. The '94 gov vowed to restore dignity to blacks while it led the entire country nonracially. Apartheid didn't betray blacks, but 94 gov did. Miss me on the lynching of De Klerk & its righteousness.
— Khulani Qoma (@KhulaniQoma) February 2, 2020
Black people are more mad at Zuma than they are at De klerk and apartheid😂😂if this isnt successful conditioning of the mind I dont know what is
— typicalZuluMan (@Im_Pacho) February 2, 2020
30 yrs ago today, FW de Klerk announced the release of Mandela and negotiations for a new SA. Parts of his speech remain pertinent to those embarking on negotiations today: "There is no time left for advancing all manner of new conditions that will delay the negotiating process."
— Darren Philip (@darphilip) February 2, 2020
I'm no great fan of De Klerk, but this is absolutely absurd. He made the mistake of NP leaders before him in identifying the ANC as the real & only leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. But his February 1990 speech changed the course of history for the better. https://t.co/AKoNEpLN50
— Hermann Pretorius🇿🇦 (@Meneer_Mann) February 3, 2020
For some of us De Klerk is a reminder of the terror and trauma we grew up in during the state of emergency. We were literally born into that… I'll never get over that…
— Nelisa Ngqulana (@Neli_Ngqulana) February 2, 2020
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BY: CEBELIHLE BHENGU
SOURCE: TMG DIGITAL