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.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to FW de Klerk and to Nelson Mandela. Significantly, it is also the day of the principal commemoration in Johannesburg of Mr Mandela’s life. In addition, it is also International Human Rights Day.
Perhaps the greatest significance of the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Peace Prize is the progress that South Africa has made since then.
It was with the greatest sadness that I have learned of the death of Nelson Mandela. My wife Elita and I would like to convey our deepest condolences to his wife, Graça Machel, the Mandela family and their friends, to the ANC and indeed to the entire South African nation.
South Africa has lost one of its founding fathers and one of its greatest sons.
There is something quite touching in the ANC’s belief that it can solve complex economic and social problems simply by promulgating new laws. What is not so endearing is the underlying notion that the state has a right to intrude into the legitimate affairs of private businesses, civil society organisations and political parties in its efforts to impose its ideological precepts throughout society. That has the whiff of totalitarianism‐ however benign the intentions may ostensibly be.
The recently published BEE codes and the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEAB) can be understood only within the context of the ANC’s overarching National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and its ideology of demographic representivity (DR).
According to the ANC’s 2007 Strategy and Tactics document "A critical element of the programme for national emancipation should be the elimination of apartheid property relations." This would require, inter alia, "the de-racialisation of ownership and control of wealth, including land"; and "equity and affirmative action in the provision of skills and access to positions of management".
No doubt to the alarm of his minders and keepers, President Zuma deviated from the prepared text of his speech yesterday to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Giyani, Limpopo. His speech should have been suitably innocuous - with a nod to the older generation on International Grandparents Day, exhortations to the youth and the expression of justifiable pride in the fact that the number of children infected with HIV within the East and Southern African region has more than halved in the past 10 years. There was only one reference to "apartheid colonialism" - and for the rest, the tone of the speech was suitably presidential.
Remarks made by Prof Jonathan Jansen - Rector of the University of the Free State - in the Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture to the English Academy of South Africa on 18 September, have caused a furore in Afrikaans cultural and educational circles. They have been widely interpreted as a call for English-only education and as a claim that "Afrikaans-exclusive or even Afrikaans-dominant white schools and universities represent a serious threat to race relations in South Africa".
The recent statements made by Arts and Culture Minister, Paul Mashatile, as well as Pretoria/Tshwane executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa - only three days after South Africa celebrated Heritage Day - raise questions regarding their commitment to the Preamble of the Constitution to "heal the divisions of the past" and that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity".
One of the most important aspects recognised in the Constitution of South Africa, is the importance of our collective heritage and the rich cultural, linguistic and historical diversity of our people.
This includes the heritage of all our peoples - from the first nations of South Africa - the KhoiKhoi, Nama and San; our indigenous African peoples - the Zulus, Xhosas, Ndebeles and Swazis; the Tswana, Pedi and South Sotho, Tsonga and Venda; white South Africans descended from the Dutch, English, German and French settlers; our extended coloured community; to the Asians who arrived from the Dutch East Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and from India during the 19th century.