Political parties react to De Klerk apology

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties have reacted to a statement released by the FW De Klerk Foundation withdrawing their previous utterances on apartheid.

The previous statement was released after EFF MPs objected to De Klerk's presence at the 2020 State of the Nation Address.

De Klerk reiterated previous statements that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

The EFF has rejected the foundation's apology over its denial that apartheid was a crime against humanity.

READ: EFF considering forensic inquest against De Klerk

The statement was in response to the EFF demanding that De Klerk leave the National Assembly during the State of the Nation address.

The former president disagreed that apartheid was indeed a crime against humanity. He's since backtracked on his statement but the EFF says the apology as it lacks sincerity and relevance.

It insists on true reconciliation to be achieved, those who perpetrated crimes against black people should face the law.

WATCH: EFF MPs leave Parliament

The EFF'S Dali Mpofu said De Klerk represents a generation of apartheid perpetrators who never expressed remorse.

He's asked South Africans to join a non-partisan citizens campaign on social media.

Mpofu wants De Klerk stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize.

He says there's a lot of apartheid denialism that still needs to be dealt with.

The governing party released a statement, noting the apology from the Foundation.

It read, "the African National Congress (ANC) has noted the unconditional apology by the FW de Klerk Foundation conveyed on behalf of Mr FW de Klerk over his offensive utterances about apartheid. The ANC has consistently maintained, in line with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, that apartheid was and remains a crime against humanity."

"The Convention adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 declared that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination ... are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security."

"The sincerity of Mr de Klerk's apology will be tested by his posture to selflessly commit both in words and in deeds towards the advancement of the ongoing reconstruction and development project through nation-building in his local community."

The ANC asked all peace-loving South Africans to acknowledge the hurts of the pasts and carry the moral duty of helping to unite and reconcile the nation.

"Any form of denial on the existence of apartheid as a crime against humanity is an affront to the lived reality of the majority of South Africans and a complete digression from the noble cause of social cohesion," the statement said.

"Our new democratic society is based on the values of non-racialism, national unity, and acknowledgement of the brutality and injustices of our past. "

"The ANC calls on all South Africans to commit and submit to a social compact that is premised on the permeable of the supreme law of the land: 

“We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”