News / South Africa / Politics

Eric Naki
Political Editor
3 minute read
3 Feb 2020
6:12 am

Give back your Nobel, FW de Klerk, says EFF

Eric Naki

The landmark announcement by De Klerk, the last apartheid president, culminated in the return of exiles and pardoning of many that were in prison for political-related crimes.

FW De Klerk at the Cape Town Press Club, January 2019. Picture: Flickr/Richter Frank-Jurgen

The Economic Freedom Fighters has called on former President FW de Klerk to return the Nobel Prize he won because he allegedly had blood on his hands and is not a peacemaker.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi yesterday said the De Klerk government was central to many massacres of the ’90s, in particular Boipatong, as it sought to undermine a just transition to democracy.

“Seeing that God has given him a long life, De Klerk can still repent and admit to his role in the crimes against humanity committed by his regime, under his watch, including the gruesome activities of Vlakplaas.

“We call on De Klerk to return the Nobel Peace Prize because there is blood on his hands, he is not a peacemaker.

“No one should ever be awarded for asking victims of apartheid to make peace with apartheid. Apartheid is a crime against humanity and its leaders are no peacemakers.”

The EFF announced this as the country commemorated the 30th anniversary of the unbanning of political organisations, release of political prisoners from jail and the return of those in exile.

The landmark announcement by De Klerk, the last apartheid president, culminated in the return of exiles and pardoning of many that were in prison for political-related crimes.

The EFF rejected the narrative that De Klerk unbanned the liberation movement and released political prisoners. “It is not him or his government, but the selfless struggle by the masses; the youth, in particular,” Ndlozi said.

He also cited the roles of trade unions and civic organisations, in particular those affiliated to the United Democratic Front (UDF), the exiles, as well as the international community that forced him to act.

“The apartheid regime was in denial, imposing states of emergency that lasted most of the ’80s. However, the mass power of the people collapsed apartheid, even the governments of the world that imposed sanctions on apartheid did so due to the grassroots and mass-based international solidarity movement,” Ndlozi said.

“There is, therefore, no grounds to imagine that De Klerk unbanned liberation political parties. This also means he does not deserve the Nobel Prize, as his contribution to a peaceful transition in SA is questionable.”

Political analyst Susan Booysen said the 2 February 1990 announcement was not De Klerk’s moment but due to pressure of the people struggles. “I don’t see that as a moment of grace for FW de Klerk,” said Booysen. “Without the struggles and insurrection, the 1990 moment could not have happened.”

According to Booysen the 1990 announcement was a “last ditch by De Klerk and the National Party to retain a slice of power through a power-sharing deal”.

“On the one hand, they were losing power fast to the right wing which was winning a serious chunk of power from them. On the other hand, oppression and suppression were not working either,” Booysen said.

She said the anniversary of the unbannings should spur the current leaders to step back and reflect as to why they had not lived up to the people’s expectations.

“Today, we have corrupt politicians and rampant abuse of state resources. Our politicians should tell the citizens what have they done to achieve the capable state the people expected from them,” Booysen said.


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