FW De Klerk's CNN mess

I’m surprised not have seen this come up yet on this forum. FW’s stance on the Homeland system seems not too surprising, after all we do know he is among other things also a Calvinist Christian. Religion is funny that way with tribalism, in/out crowd kind of stuFf. Ok that said - I’d also like to add that most of what he said regarding most of that was an account of his youth and how he evolved and matured to become the leader he ended up being, I’m also an Afrikaans speaking white oke so I do understand where he is coming from on the “it’s the way I was raised”-thing - but his sentiment on the homeland (apartheid/nation-states ideas) really gets my goat and really dissillusioned me from the kind of man I thought he is - I’ve always thought of him much more of at least some sort of xtian humanist rather as a fundamentalist.

What’s your take on this? Is the religious connection really such a fallacious statement? Am I really that ignorant and naïve in my understanding of the endgame of apartheid?

Sorry, I don’t really understand your position. Or your question.

We followed the De Klerk issue and didn’t think it was such a big deal. It was simply hyped into something much bigger than it should have been, but I suppose that the main reason for the hype and inflation is De Klerk’s being a Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate.


I never saw the interview, so I don’t know what he said or why it caused such an uproar. Did he defend apartheid? Did he say they believed in it in those days? What should he have said?

I always find it amusing how nowadays, it is impossible to find anyone who ever supported apartheid. :slight_smile:

Zapiro’s take on it:


I also never saw the interview.De Klerk grew up with a system. What do you do if something is not working? You try and fix it. The homeland system I think was the result. If apartheid was scraped back then I do not think we would have ended up with today’s democracy. Back in the 60’s to 80’s communism was a real “gevaar”. The rest of Africa was a good example of how not to change the system. I think he and Mandela did well.

When I was working for the United nations in Dar es Salaam ten years ago, a Tanzanian woman said to me at a party, “Apartheid is what separated South Africa from the rest of Africa as it gave the skilled whites a chance to build its infrastructure and economy”. I was most surprised as I always abhorred it as an inhumane policy but she had a point and gave me a new perspective.
I didn’t see FW’s interview (I actually met the man while he was President) but suspect his comments had been taken out of context.

Personally I think they’re yanking the arse from under the chicken. The whole thing has been taken out of context, I believe he spoke from the heart, it was what was believed to be right and justifiable “at that point of time”. The man was directly responsible for the changes that transpired since and to want to hang him for previous political convictions/beliefs 18 odd years later is borne from stupidity and possibly boredom from foreign press. It irritates me endlessly that the US/UK still believe that the white Saffers are all racists. As if they have such a good track record with racial equalities. I pointed out to an Aussie on another forum accussing us as racists that his country happened to inherit all the racists that “fled” our country and those remaining are true patriots. Bah!

Judge for yourselves.

I think you might be right Vulcan. In a sense anyway. Religion obviously had to have some influence on it. The man is a Christian AND (mildly) conservative FFS. It’s part of his cultural identity.

And as some of the previous answers stated, I think the whole thing is little more than a sensation-seeking cock-up by some supposedly “liberal” journo hoping for a “feel-good” piece (hence trying repeatedly to get him to repeat a specific phrase) and getting an honest answer instead.

I only read the condensed trascript (poor man’s video), but from what I could gather the reaction (like Zapiro’s. Really dude? Are you that far up the pseudo-liberals’ arses?. You lost some of my respect there…) seems to be little more than a knee-jerk reaction to something they didn’t like hearing.

Obviously the man espoused some of the old regime’s ideals. How else would he have risen through the party ranks? (We should thank our lucky stars he did. Imagine the alternative!) The point is that when it came to game-time, he delivered. And it’s for that reason alone he was honoured. And righly so.

IMHO the whole thing is the result of a media (specifically our own. I don’t think half the American poulation understood a word he said.) that has become so intollerant of “non-liberal” views that they are starting to look and act just like the hard-core conservatives. The whole thing seems to have become a competition to see who can be the least offensive as opposed to actually being honest and open to the view of others. Maybe it’s time for us to wake up to the fact that being “liberal” means being free of oppression, not just giving it a new name.

what IS scary are the comments by some people on FW’s interview!

Yeah I agree, they really did give the story a whole lot of viagra, but it wasn’t taken too much out of context - he did believe in the ideaology of “seperate nation states” and is probably a little nostalgic about it still, if his refusal to apologise for “the original concept…” (Notice though that it’s nostalgia from youth and the idea of equal seperate development seemed right at THE TIME - maybe still justifiable in a sense for him?) He put an end to aparthateid -why should he apologise for Verwoerd’s crazyness?

Journalists are good at creating spin, they hate the words “taken out of context” except if it suits them:)

And as I stated he noted that was what he bought into as a YOUNG man I’m not going to pretend I know his mind or the bat-shittery of apartheid - so what if he admitted defeat in stead of moral victory? In hindsight he states that he’s a convert, funny what happens when one takes a step back from shit you buy into blindly. You know what they say about the road to hell and good intentions…

I suppose what got me off was this whole thing reminded me of some of the reasons that led me to atheism, there were plenty of reasons, but some of it stemmed from my grandfather’s good christen nature and his racism - I could never reconcile the two, I’m not even gonna go into the bible as a moral guide… Now there’s something to pave the road to hell with

I doubt it: Zapiro is not known for seeking favour from anyone or anything. He likely believes what he draws.

anyway, the whole thing is just another media-generated storm in a teacup, and likely part of ongoing attempts to show that South Africans (especially Afrikaners) remain a bunch of racists. There is nothing the media desire more fervently than for South Africa to descend into civil war. It will sell lots of papers until the next big thing happens somewhere else.

In my opinion the average Afrikaner is still a racist. Yes that means lots of us aren’t, but most: I’m pretty convinced.

Anybody over the age of 35 has been or still is a inherent racist. It’s the way we’ve been bought up and as we all know, its pretty hard to rid onself of ingrained prejudices and indoctrination.

Probably yes. But most of the truly hardcore Afrikaner racists are now living in Australia. :slight_smile:

Hey, I resent that! :wink: But seriously, I’m 30 and I, too, was raised in that cesspool of hate and bigotry and have to actively fight my racist thoughts/impulses.

In fact, my kids, who are still very young, still get taught that a certain colour (what the hell is that colour anyway? And why is it always included in the packet with 12 crayons?) is called “flesh” colour, except of course in Afrikaans it’s “human coloured” (menskleur). So I’d argue for “all of us living in this country/world right now is and will continue to be still inherently racist, because the whole freaking world is inherently (though arguably more subtly and insidiously) racist” - though being the naive optimist I am, I am hoping that this abominable state of affairs is slowly waning with each generation.

Also, I think I prefer the “hardcore” racists. Their arguments are bullshit easily pointed out as such, they’re painfully honest about their hatred and bigotry (none of that "but I have a black friend and I let blacks use my bathroom sometimes so I can’t be racist! shit) and therefore they are easy to spot and avoid.

It’s the insidious, “oh-but-that’s-not-racist-racist, lighten up will ya” and “I-prefer-not-to-see-color” racism that’s hardest to fight.

It is tough. My eldest had a “Hindu” girlfriend last year, to him the religion aspect was a possible stumbling stone and he was loath to tell me and eventually just spat it out after my constant questioning as to when we’ll meet the girl. The colour (Indian - what colour are they?) didnt feature at all in his calculations.

When meeting her folks eventually (at the matric farewell), we had an embarrassed chuckle at our reactions when both parties realised what the kids were “hiding” from their folks. Both sets of parents were mature about it though, regardless of our base feelings about this “relationship”. At that meeting too, the mother admitted that she doesnt have too much of an issue with them as she regarded it as a High School puppy love stage but most likely would have serious concerns in future. Racism is certainly not limited to one race.