Brendan Seery
Deputy Editor
3 minute read
15 Nov 2021
4:45 am

White SA’s finest hour?

Brendan Seery

It wasn’t FW de Klerk who brought South Africa back from the brink, it was the white voters

Former president FW de Klerk with the newspaper results of the referendum. Photo: Gallo Images/Oryx Media Archive

It was a strange week in a strange time, seven days in March 1992, in which I got to see fragmented images of a white community increasingly fragmented about looming black majority rule in South Africa. At the Randse Afrikanse Universiteit in Johannesburg, National Party student organisation members in green blazers and ties fought pitched battles in the university cafeteria against khaki-clad rightwingers. FW de Klerk called off his student pep talk because of the violence. Around the corner, in the “poor white” suburb of Jan Hofmeyr, white kids queue barefoot around the back of the NG church for a...