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.
FW de Klerk was hospitalised yesterday at the Panorama Hospital with a condition known as pneumothorax - which is an abnormal collection of air in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall. He underwent a successful procedure this morning and it is expected that he will be discharged from hospital some time next week.
The FW de Klerk Foundation will today, Friday 26 October 2018, appear before the Constitutional Review Committee to make a presentation on its earlier submission on the possible amendment to section 25 of the Constitution. The Foundation regards this question as being of central importance to the future of South Africa - not only for successful land reform, but also for the future of property rights, the future of the economy, and the future of race relations in South Africa.
Together with numerous respected jurists, including the late Arthur Chaskalson CJ, as well as the High Level Panel appointed by Parliament and led by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, the Foundation believes that it is not necessary to change section 25 of the Constitution to achieve land reform and extend property rights to all South Africans.
The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes, with cautious optimism, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of a Commission of Inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). The appointment of the Commission is an important affirmation of the President’s powers, as granted by the Constitution. The wide-ranging terms of reference include the investigation into various allegations of improprieties linked to PIC investments. It also extends to the conduct of past and present office-bearers and staff, including the functioning of its Board. Of concern though, is the limited temporal scope of the work of the Commission - from 1 January 2015 to 31 August 2018, which excludes from scrutiny, any questionable deals conducted in that period.
It is a great pleasure for me to address you today on the topic of South Africa’s transition to democracy. This is now my ninth visit to Taiwan and with each visit I have admired the manner in which your country has progressively consolidated and deepened your own democratic system.
Our progress in South Africa was different. In our country the challenge was not so much a transition to democracy but an extension of democracy to all our people.
The country we today call South Africa was created by the British Empire only 108 years ago. As was the case with many other African countries, the British drew borders on the map of the continent that arbitrarily included a great variety of peoples with different languages, cultures and levels of economic development.
I have learned with great sadness of the death of Pik Botha.
He was one of the leading personalities in South African politics from 1970 until his retirement from active politics in 1996. He served with great distinction as South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 until 1994 - and was one of the world’s longest-serving foreign ministers. During this period, he resolutely defended South Africa against growing international isolation.
The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the fact that President Ramaphosa, in the interest of good governance, accepted the resignation of Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance. As stated in a CFCR article yesterday, it was the right thing for Mr Nene to offer his resignation, and it was the right thing for the President to accept it. This presents the country with a rare case of accountability and ethical conduct at senior government level, especially in the last number of years. Too often, as in the case of SASSA and Life Esidimeni, politicians and senior officials shirked their responsibility and denied accountability - and in so doing, acted unethically.
The FW de Klerk Foundation and former President De Klerk would like to congratulate fellow Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, on celebrating his 87th birthday tomorrow, Sunday 7 October. We rejoice in his life and achievements, and in the relative good health he has been enjoying. He has, throughout his life, fought for justice and reconciliation. He has consistently spoken out against injustices and wrong actions, irrespective of who the perpetrators were. In all of this, he has remained a humble servant of God, in service of his people. May you have a blessed day and a good year, Arch!
The leaked 30-page document of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) caused a storm on social media, within African National Congress (ANC) circles and other political and civic organisations. It is not difficult to understand why. In a time when President Cyril Ramaphosa supporters and the Zuma-ites are still at odds, the Foundation of a former ANC and country president takes a strong view against one of his party’s important recent decisions - expropriation without compensation (EWC). The TMF believes that EWC is possible without an amendment of Section 25, but the emphasis of the document is on the fact that the process is race-based. The key issue is that of how this recent ANC decision impacts the national question and scuppers attempts at building a non-racial society. It touches a nerve by stating that the ANC had departed from non-racialism by taking the decision on EWC and criticises Zuma directly because he effectively turned the ANC into a “black party”. The view of the TMF is that as a result of this, the ANC can no longer be seen as representative of all South Africans. Harsh words from loyal ANC supporters, in a difficult time for the party…