-FW De Klerk was removed as a speaker at an American Bar Association event
- This was a result of numerous objections submitted by a range of individuals and organisations
- One of the first people to object was the son of slain Cradock Four anti-apartheid activist Fort Calata
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Former South African president FW De Klerk was set to give a talk on the rule of law, constitutional democracy, minority rights, social change, racism and global security at an American Bar Association event.
However, due to a slew of objections from a host of organisations and individuals, the invitation to De Klerk to present his programme was rescinded.
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“Presenting the programme would not help the association advance our Goal III priority,” it stated, in reference to its aim to “eliminate bias and enhance diversity” by promoting “full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons” and eliminating “bias in the legal profession and the justice system”.
Dave Steward, De Klerk's spokesperson has not responded to the incident according to The Citizen.
The son of slain Cradock Four anti-apartheid activist Fort Calata was one fo the first to argue that De Klerk should not present.
“Our wish is that organisations around the world will follow the ABA’s lead and give careful consideration before extending an invite to De Klerk to speak on matters that he’s wholly unqualified to opine on.
“We just wish that the National Prosecuting Authority could act as swiftly as the ABA in taking decisions to act against those implicated in the murders of the Cradock Four. For now at least we can mark the 35th commemoration of their murders next week Saturday, knowing that we had stopped De Klerk from taking a public platform where he would no doubt have dishonoured their lives and legacies.
“Instead, we should ensure that it is De Klerk’s legacy that is unveiled to the rest of the world, for them to see him in the same way we do, as a criminal that perpetrated crimes against our humanity. Hopefully the NPA will charge De Klerk soon, so that we can write to the Nobel Prize International Award to request them to reconsider their decision to award him a Peace Prize that he remains completely undeserving of.”
Among those who also objected to De Klerks programme was Seattle University Law Professor Ronald Slye, The Pan African Bar Association (PABASA), human rights activists and former Truth and Reconciliation commissioners.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the hype over former president FW de Klerk's controversial comments on apartheid may well have simmered down, but the impact on his legacy remains.
De Klerk managed to propel himself into the spotlight when he denied that apartheid was a crime against humanity, adamant that the brutalities of the regime had been misunderstood and misappropriated.
Despite the uproar over these statements, his foundation had released a statement insisting that apartheid hadn't been a crime against humanity.
Instead, it slammed the conclusion as false insisting that it was a “project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity—which have generally included totalitarian repression and the slaughter of millions of people”.
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