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The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.

Lee Teng hui






Former President FW de Klerk was recently invited to participate in one of a series of interviews that Jonathan Granoff, the President of the Global Security Institute, has been conducting with the American Bar Association. 

In an historic judgement yesterday, the Constitutional Court upheld the appeal of New Nation and others against the judgement last year of the Western Cape High Court regarding the right of individuals to stand as independent candidates in national and provincial elections. The Court declared that “the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 is unconstitutional to the extent that it requires that adult citizens may be elected to the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures only through their membership of political parties.” It ordered Parliament to remedy this defect within the next 24 months - in time for the next national and provincial elections.

Now that we are entering Phase III of the COVID19 lockdown process, this may be a good time to take stock.

We live in the strangest of times. The world’s great airports are idle. Hundreds of thousands of hotels have closed. Schools and universities are empty. Millions of restaurants are shut. Everywhere owners of small and medium-size businesses are wracking their brains and scraping the barrel of their resources to keep their doors open. Tens of millions throughout the world have lost their jobs – and tens of millions more are subsisting on greatly reduced wages.

GraemeWilliams Boipatong

On 17 June the EFF issued a statement to mark the 28th anniversary of the Boipatong massacre.  It stated that the massacre had been orchestrated by “an Apartheid government led by FW de Klerk” who had “funded and supported the massacre in order to undermine negotiations…”

I remember Boipatong. 

Apartheid illustration


There has recently been some debate regarding when, how and by whom apartheid was dismantled.   The “why” of the dismantling of apartheid is more complex: growing international pressure and domestic resistance undoubtedly played a central role.  However, other factors included the evolving attitudes of white South Africans; growing acceptance of the injustice of apartheid among white leadership groups; and the irresistible need to adjust policy to accommodate the de facto realities of an increasingly integrated economy and society.


Apartheid illustrationFew people would disagree with the Employment Equity Act’s goals of “eliminating unfair discrimination in employment” and ensuring equitable access to the economy for all South Africans. We need an open, equitable and non-discriminatory economy.

However, in its pursuit of these goals the EEA has now become a core tool in the ANC’s project to reshape society and the economy according to demographic representivity (DR).  The ANC’s objective has long been to ensure that DR is achieved in the private sector to the same degree that it is already a reality in the public sector. As Rob Davis put it in 2012 “We need to make sure that in the country’s economy, control, ownership and leadership are reflective of the demographics of the society in the same way that the political space does.”


Apartheid illustration

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) recently handed down a well-reasoned judgment that underscores a critical number of core principles insofar as language rights and education are concerned in South Africa.
The South African Constitution is very clear on language rights in public educational institutions - including universities and schools. Section 29(2) provides that ‘Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or languages of their choice in public educational institutions where that education is reasonably practicable. In order to ensure the effective access to, and implementation of, this right, the state must consider all reasonable educational alternatives, including single medium institutions, taking into account:
(a) equity;

(b) practicability; and

(c) the need to redress the results of past racially discriminatory laws and practices.’
The above is also reinforced by other provisions pertaining to language rights in the Bill of Rights, for example, the right to use the language of one’s choice (Section 30) and that persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community, to enjoy and use their language (Section 31(1)(a)).

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Cape Town, 7500, South Africa
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