The Barry Streek Lecture by FW de Klerk on 6 September 2012
THE BARRY STREEK LECTURE BY FW DE KLERK ON 6 SEPTEMBER 2012
CAPE TOWN PRESS CLUB
"THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY"
It’s a great honour for me to be able to deliver this year’s Barry Streek Lecture.
For most of our careers Barry and I were on different sides of the great South African political divide. However, I would like to think that after 2 February 1990 there was some convergence and that in later years we shared a common determination to support the constitutional values on which our new society has been founded.
Today - 6 September - is an auspicious day in our history. It was on this day in 1939 that South Africa declared war on Germany. It was on this date that Dr Verwoerd was assassinated - and this was also the date of South Africa’s last discriminatory election.
It is perhaps appropriate on such a day for us to step back from the rough and tumble of our daily political debate to consider the progress that we have made - or have failed to make - with the promotion of equality. It is one of the key values on which our new society has been established and I am sure was also one of Barry’s core values.
Barry Streek was a passionate supporter of the ideal of social justice - not only in his writing but also in his actions. In 1984 he established the Social Change Assistance Trust to improve the quality of life and living standards of poor rural communities. So I am sure that he would have approved of the idea of examining where we are with equality 18 years after the establishment of our new society.
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Published in: FW de Klerk Foundation