FW de Klerk’s death Sparks divided Debate

The death of the country’s last apartheid president Frederik Willem de Klerk has attracted mixed reactions in Soweto. While some hailed him for his role in scrapping apartheid, others accused him of being responsible for the murders of people during his regime.

Sunrise News visited a number of areas in the township with some community members not mourning, mostly saying they don’t have any recollection of his life. While some refused to talk to the newspaper, others stated that he deserves the state funeral as a former president. Nono Vesi, who resides in Dobsonville, who was willing to share his views only mentioned that De Klerk’s death means nothing to the people of South Africa. Some claim that to honor De Klerk with a state funeral would be a slap in the face of national heroes who suffered at his hands and had their family members murdered in their quest to fight for the freedom of the people.

According to a statement from his foundation, De Klerk met his demise on Thursday 11 November at his home in Fresnaye, Cape Town following a battle with Mesothelioma cancer. The foundation further indicated that the news of the death came at a time they least expected. He was 85.

De Klerk, who served as a head of state from September 1989 until May 1994, shared the 1993 Noble peace price with Nelson Mandela. Though he apologized for the damage that apartheid had cased, many a people are still angered by his constant refusal to accept that apartheid was a crime against humanity.

Words of condolences also flowed from political leaders, heads of state, writers and many more including celebrities.

Thapelo Magola Soweto Sunrise News