Twenty-five years after the speech that unbanned political organisations, FW de Klerk wants you to know one thing: he did not dismantle Apartheid because his back was against the wall. It was an action taken out of conscience, not pragmatism.
Whether you buy this or not, two people who appear to accept it (in public, at least) are Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and former president Kgalema Motlanthe, as Tuesday’s intriguing FW De Klerk Foundation Conference revealed.
The argument over what, exactly, prompted FW de Klerk to start dismantling the apparatus of Apartheid in the early ’90s is one that looks unlikely to ever be settled definitively.
This week marks 25 years since the 2 February 1990 speech given by De Klerk that changed the course of South African history, and an event held in Cape Town on Tuesday brooked little debate on De Klerk’s motives.
Speakers at the FW de Klerk Foundation conference repeatedly mentioned the need for a frank national conversation, but there was very little dissent among them on that particular issue.
De Klerk himself, in an address during in which he occasionally seemed quite emotional, conceded that his 1990 speech was “not …
Source : Daily Maverick