Africa & World

VIDEOS | ‘I apologise for the pain and the hurt’ – De Klerk’s last words

THE De Klerk Foundation has released a video on social media in which former deputy president FW De Klerk again apologises to South Africans for apartheid in an emotional last message.  

In the clip, de Klerk apologises unreservedly for apartheid and acknowledges the hurt and wrongs caused by the system.  

The last president of apartheid South Africa passed away this morning from a cancer that affected the lining of his lungs. He was 85.  

He appears visibly frail in the pre-recorded video message.  

The now-deceased elder statesman also thanked those who supported him during difficult times.

“On many occasions, I apologised for the pain and the indignity that apartheid brought to persons of colour in South Africa. Many believed me, but others didn’t. So, let me, therefore, today, in this last message repeat, I, without qualification, apologise for the pain and the hurt and the indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to black, browns and Indians in South Africa.” 

There are mixed feelings among some people regarding the legacy of de Klerk. Some hail him as an agent of change in helping South Africa transition to a democratic dispensation, while others lament the fact that he was never held accountable for his actions under the apartheid regime.  

Professor of Journalism at Wits University, Anton Harber, “I have strong recollections of the brutality, the horrors, the censorship, the long periods of detention, the killings and the assassinations that happened while de Klerk was in government. So, one looks at his death with mixed feelings. It’s clearly a complicated and mixed heritage that he leaves behind him.” 

 RIP FW De Klerk | Reaction to passing of former apartheid president: Anton Harber

De Klerk was not well for some time. He was Deputy President in the government of National unity post the 1994 elections. He died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier this morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.

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