De Klerk a charlatan, disappointment: Sanco

Pretoria – The claims by the FW De Klerk Foundation that statements on social media by black South Africans are more violent and racist reveal that the former president did not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said on Saturday. “The claim has exposed the last apartheid president as a charlatan who did not deserve the Noble Peace Prize that he received alongside the late world icon Nelson Mandela,” Sanco National spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu said in a statement.

“His scandalous attempt to insulate perpetrators and beneficiaries of racism at the expense of millions of victims that have endured decades of fascism and racial prejudice will characterise his divisive leadership and legacy.”

The foundation wrote to the South African Human Rights Commission raising concerns following days of racist posts on social media. In a statement, the foundation raised its concerns “about recent statements in the media and the social media that constitute hurtful racist remarks”.

“In this regard, it issued a statement on January 5 in which it strongly condemned the recent racist remarks made by Penny Sparrow regarding black South Africans who made use of public beaches on New Year’s Day.”

The foundation said most media commentators viewed Sparrow’s remarks and the subsequent “far less controversial” comments of Chris Hart and Gareth Cliff as evidence of rampant and pervasive white racism while some of the views and threats expressed by black South Africans have not been met with the same disapproval.

“An analysis of Facebook and Twitter messages shows that by far the most virulent and dangerous racism – expressed in the most extreme and violent language – has come from disaffected black South Africans. The messages are replete with threats to kill all whites – including children; to rape white women or to expel all whites from South Africa.”

Mahlangu said that De Klerk has with his myopic view on race relations in the country missed an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards entrenching nation building, reconciliation and social cohesion.

“Black people are in the majority in South Africa therefore it stands to reason that as 80 percent of the population, they are bound to dominate any emotional national discourse. The dominance of the raging debate by victims who are angered by an apparent resurgence of racism does not make them more racist,” said Mahlangu. – Sapa

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