Johannesburg – The start of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fourth State of the Nation Address was delayed by just over 94 minutes on Thursday night, when EFF MPs led by Julius Malema demanded that FW de Klerk be asked to leave Parliament.
De Klerk was the last apartheid president and he served as deputy president during former president Nelson Mandela’s term between 1994 and 1999. He was invited by Parliament.
He drew some criticism last week, when he said apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
In an interview with the SABC, he said: “I don’t fully agree with that (it was evil and a crime against humanity), and I am not justifying apartheid in anyway.
“It did, and profusely apologised for that, but there’s a difference in calling something a crime, like genocide, is a crime, apartheid cannot be, and that is why I am saying this. “It can never be compared with genocide, there was never genocide,” he said in the interview.
WATCH: De Klerk Must Go
— IG: @leighmathys (@LeighMathys) February 13, 2020
On the back of de Klerk’s comments, the EFF, which was expected to disrupt SONA on a ticket that demanded Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan be removed, used the former apartheid president’s remarks as the basis for their continued interjections and points of order.
#SONA2020 Anyone who doesn’t want to hold ministers accountable, who doesn’t want to be held accountable will never receive respect from the EFF, says @EFFSouthAfrica leader Julius Malema says outside Parliament. Video: Sisonke Mlamla pic.twitter.com/6NSknJqi1a
— IOL News (@IOL) February 13, 2020
As a loyal and dedicated member of @MYANC I am heartbroken💔this happened to my Mother and many others under De Klerk’s watch. According to his interview, he justified this, therefore saying that that my Mother and others deserved this aggression. What do we stand for? pic.twitter.com/wN0dPorOQ2
— Zindzi Mandela (@ZindziMandela) February 13, 2020
Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa), also hit out at the ANC.
My Lord,My Gord really did the ANC, sad it is defending De Klerk who sad last week apartheid was never a crime against humanity?
— Irvin Jim (@IrvinJimSA) February 13, 2020
Carl Niehaus, spokesperson for the Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association, was also scathing, saying:
No! we should never ever be apologetic, or even worse, apologize, to #FWDeKlerk. APARTHEID WAS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY! De Klerk presided over the #BoiphatongMassacre, #ThirdForceViolence, & terrible apartheid crimes. He should be arrested, tried and imprisoned for these crimes. pic.twitter.com/Go48O7Gjse
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) February 13, 2020
SOCIAL MEDIA ON DE KLERK
Understand this please.
The reason De Klerk and his people do not think Apartheid was a crime against humanity is because they don’t view black people as humanity.
Simple as that.
— Sharné Zoë (@Zoe_SZi) February 14, 2020
— Rorisang (@MapenaRorisang) February 14, 2020
FW de Klerk has been attending SONA all these years, Democratic Govt recognised him, but last week this man said "Apertheid was not crime against humanity" now for us it means Chris Hani, Steve Biko, Mandela, Sobukwe, Solomon Mahlangu, Mama Nomzamo all others deserve to be…..
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) February 14, 2020
Over the years, FW De Klerk has maintained a regular attendance at the State of the Nation Address. The EFF has known this & never complained about his presence. Tonight, they decided to use him as part of their manufactured outrage.
— McIntosh Polela (@toshpolela) February 13, 2020
De Klerk didn’t do anything but fold.
He didn’t bring freedom to the people …he succumbed to the people’s pressure
That’s no ones hero. That’s someone we defeated
We don’t celebrate these people
Guys come on !
— Culprit (@CulpritEnter) February 14, 2020
Today’s headlines should be
Breaking News: ANC backs apartheid President De Klerk who killed people of Boipatong. pic.twitter.com/O1fiSKIdsf
— Mmadikgosi Matshego (@Mmadikgosi_23) February 14, 2020
Let us be honest guys. Personal feelings aside. The EFF is right on de Klerk. What Ndlozi said just right now is on point. 👏👏#SONA2020
— the name’s Vuyo (@PhandleVuyo) February 13, 2020
De Klerk is a confessed criminal who represents many other criminals. He CANNOT be allowed to sit in Parliament as if he is an ordinary citizen. It is grossly disrespectful to the entire nation. EFF is 100% spot on here! #SONA2020
— Ngithe NGINENTOMBI!!! ✋🏾🙄 (@PapiZwane) February 13, 2020
— Sam Beynon #KanyaCekesheIsFree (@BeynonSammy) February 13, 2020