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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.

The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution convened a “constitutional dialogue” in Cape Town on 6 November 2019 to which it invited members of the public and civil society organisations - including the FW de Klerk Foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR).   

The Ad Hoc Committee was appointed by Parliament following a resolution by the National Assembly on 6 December 2018, “to initiate and introduce legislation amending section 25 of the Constitution”. The Ad Hoc Committee was tasked with making “explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution” regarding expropriation without compensation (EWC) and was required to finalise its work by 31 March 2020.  

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On October 10, 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled in the case in which Gelyke Kanse (GK) asked that the 2016 Language Policy of the University of Stellenbosch (SU) be set aside because it is unconstitutional. GK's application was essentially an appeal against the Western Cape High Court's earlier ruling, and a request to bypass the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and approach the Constitutional Court directly. This was allowed.

The overall verdict - with which all 10 judges agreed - was written by Judge Edwin Cameron (who was recently appointed new Chancellor of the SU). There are also two additional rulings, one by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the other by Judge Johan Froneman, which provide additional perspectives.

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In 1989 the American Academic, Francis Fukuyama, proclaimed that the “end of history” had arrived: 

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

That was quite a claim.  

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There are few issues that are discussed as often as the success (or not) of President Cyril Ramaphosa - even during Rugby World Cup time. Everyone (except the Zuptas and EFF) wants him to succeed and believes that he will succeed. But doubts erode this trust every time something negative happens in the country: whether it’s yet another SOE demanding a lifeline, or  the case of a student raped and murdered by a public servant. And the recurring refrain is that if Cyril does not succeed soon, there will be no economy or country left to save. William Saunderson-Meyer recently posed the question: can he be referred to as Cyril the Tiger, or is he merely Puss in Boots?


Dear Madam/Sir

I refer to your article of 6 October 2019 titled “The policy that has seen R60m spent since 2016 on former Presidents and their wives” dealing with the benefits afforded to former Presidents. 

The article quotes DA MP Leon Schreiber - referring to “the lifestyles of the rich and shameless” - and claiming that

“…taxpayers foot the bill of the lifestyles of six former presidents, deputies and their families….We spend about R3.5 million per year on each former president…” and “this is all on top of the generous pension benefits and the R3 million annual salary each president continues to receive for the rest of their lives.” 

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It is a great honour for me to address this meeting at this critical time in the evolution of the new South Africa.

Twenty-five years after the inauguration of our new constitutional democracy South Africa is once again facing serious challenges:

  • massive corruption and incompetence; 
  • sluggish economic growth; 
  • mounting social problems; 
  • expropriation without compensation; and 
  • the government’s NHI proposal.


Former President De Klerk, Mrs De Klerk and the staff of the FW de Klerk Foundation would like to extend their warmest birthday wishes to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, on the occasion of his 88th birthday. We join with our fellow South Africans in trusting for continued good health and much happiness for a giant among men, who has done much to contribute towards peace and reconciliation in our beautiful country. Happy Birthday, and may you have a blessed year, Arch!

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
7 October 2019

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Today is Heritage Day. This day was placed on the calendar after the 1994 negotiated settlement. The celebrations differ from South African to South African, but on the first commemoration of Heritage Day in 1995, President Nelson Mandela said the day was introduced because the government realised that “our rich and diverse cultural heritage has the power to help us build our new nation”. Heritage is therefore not only intended to celebrate diversity, but also to help build unity.

It is interesting that 24 September was initially not on the list of public holidays when the Public Holidays Bill was presented in Parliament in 1995. The Inkatha Freedom Party insisted that this day, upon which the Zulu nation traditionally celebrated Shaka Day (commemorating the Zulu King’s conciliatory role between the different Zulu tribes), be added to the list of public holidays. The compromise accepted was that the day would be called Heritage Day - and would apply to all South Africans, and not just to the Zulus.

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