Durban – KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango has challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the charge by petitioning for FW de Klerk to be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 1993 following his comments about apartheid not being a crime against humanity.
Mncwango, speaking to Independent Media on Tuesday, also called on De Klerk to issue an apology live on national television as he had used a similar platform to air his divisive views on February 2 in an interview with the SABC.
He said that Ramaphosa’s silence on the issue, at a time when South Africans needed his leadership and voice on the contentious issue, was worrying because more than ever South African society needed to be united.
On De Klerk, Mncwango said that he believes that he had been faking “all these years and now the true colours are coming out” and that if he had genuinely been remorseful in the early 1990s, for having presided over apartheid, he would have known that it was a crime against humanity even back then.
He said that De Klerk’s apology, through his foundation, was not a genuine apology because he was reacting under pressure from the public backlash due to his comments.
“All those years, I thought he was genuine, and even his foundation defended his comments, which means they also believed he is right. The apology is kind of fake because he only apologised under pressure from South Africans and the international community,” said Mncwango.
He added that the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to De Klerk should be revoked because it had given on the condition that he was remorseful for presiding over apartheid and had now changed and wanted to bring about peace and reconciliation to South Africa country.
“This is worse because we are reminded of the pain we went through as a country by someone who was directly involved and presided over the system of oppression against us,” said Mncwango.
He added that contrary to some views, the backlash against De Klerk’s remarks was not an overreaction but a reflection of the pain and suffering that the Apartheid system had visited upon black South Africans.
Mncwango also called for South Africans across the racial spectrum not to allow one man’s views to derail the reconciliation project that was started by the late former president Nelson Mandela.
“It’s up to us, all of us, whites, blacks to work together in creating an environment whereby we can live peacefully in our country without any form of discrimination because De Klerk’s statement seems to be dividing us again along racial lines, which I don’t think will benefit any of us,” Mncwango said.