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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.

ARTICLE: WILL “REVOLUTIONARY MORALITY” HAMPER CORRUPTION AND STATE CAPTURE?

theuns eloffIt is finally clear after the NEC of the ANC's 8 January statement (which was, as usual, delivered by the current president) that there will be a new ANC president on 8 January, 2018. It is also clear that the groups within the NEC had to reach a compromise on the declaration, but that the group concerned about Zuma's leadership and negative example was slightly on the winning side.

A closer reading of the entire written speech (which was not delivered in full, due to the weather conditions) shows that this is a carefully balanced statement covering a wide range of issues. But it also covers issues that Zuma (or his supporters) would not have included. One of these is the assurance that the nuclear programme will only be implemented at a pace and cost that the country can afford - the first time that something like this has been said publicly. The other issue is corruption (and with that factionalism, with money as undertone). Two other recent statements also referred to this.

INVITATION: ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017

ct conf finalThe FW de Klerk Foundation - in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation - invites you to attend our Annual Conference. Our theme for 2017 is: “The Constitution and Governance - at another Crossroads”.

The FW de Klerk Foundation annually hosts a conference on 2 February in Cape Town, to coincide with the announcement in Parliament in 1990 of the release of Nelson Mandela and other prisoners and the unbanning of several organisations. Each year the conference tackles a topical theme, with input from a diverse range of influential speakers. Previous speakers include former President Kgalema Motlanthe, Justice Albie Sachs, Dr Mathews Phosa, Ms Rhoda Kadalie, Prof Frans Viljoen, Mr Sipho Pityana, Adv Jeremy Gauntlett, Mr Johann Rupert and former President FW de Klerk. 

STATEMENT CONDEMNING RECENT TARGETING OF MOSQUES

mosque optThe FW de Klerk Foundation strenuously condemns the recent targeting of mosques in the Western Cape. The attacks on the Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay Mosques are an attack on the very foundations of our constitutional democracy, as provided for in Chapter 2 of the Bill of Rights that boldly asserts that “Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.”

The recent defacement and attacks on mosques stands in contrast to the sentiments and views of the majority of South Africans who place great value on religious respect and religious freedom. The Foundation stands with the vast majority in expressing outrage at the attack on places of worship and reverence. These attacks must be condemned but will not deter our collective commitment to building a tolerant, respectful and open society.

ARTICLE: DAY OF RECONCILIATION 2016

sa concourt flag foterThe Day of Reconciliation was somewhat of a latecomer to the slate of negotiated and agreed on public holidays in the new South Africa. The first celebration took place on 16 December 1995 and was crafted in a way that aimed to acknowledge and affirm two different histories, one which emerged in 1838 at the Battle of Blood River, initially called Dingaan’s Day, and subsequently called Day of the Vow and Day of the Covenant. The second momentous event on the same day in 1961 was the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

ARTICLE: BITING THE BULLET WITH EDUCATION OUTCOMES

high school students optThe triumphant announcement of the 2016 matric results by the Minister and Department of Basic Education has subsequently been tempered as the harsh searchlight of reality has dawned.

Opposition political parties, specialist education NGOs, business, journalists and the private sector have rightly raised questions about the pass rate of 72.5%, announced by Minister Angie Motshekga on 4 January 2016. The questions have been motivated not by cynicism nor by opportunism but a shared concern that our children deserve better two decades since the demise of racially separate education. The Preamble of our Constitution, powerfully captures the aspiration envisaged for all citizens but perhaps especially so for the “born frees”, when it proclaims a commitment to “Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person”

ARTICLE: THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY AND NEC CONFIRMATION OF ZUMA’S PRESIDENCY - WHAT DOES 2017 HAVE IN STORE FOR US?

zuma parliament foterThe deadline for President Zuma to appoint the commission of inquiry as per the Madonsela State Capture Report, came and went quietly at the end of November. Hours before the deadline,  the President submitted a court application to review the Madonsela Report and its recommendations. With such an action, the recommendations are temporarily suspended. He and his legal advisors apparently don’t take any chances.

His argument is that her directive is invalid because he, as per the Constitution, did not decide independently to appoint such a Commission and that only he (and not the Chief Justice) can take this action. Mr Zuma further argues that he may not be judge and jury in his own court, as the Commission would have to report to him.

The Constitution does indeed state in section 84(2)(f) that the President is responsible for appointing commissions of inquiry. On the other hand, section 96(2)(b) provides that members of the Cabinet and Deputy Ministers may not “act in any way that is inconsistent with their office, or expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests”. Surely that which applies to the Cabinet should also apply to the head of the Cabinet.

SPEECH - FW DE KLERK: MARGARET THATCHER’S ROLE IN ASSISTING SOUTH AFRICA ON ITS ROAD TO TRANSFORMATION

FWDK THATCHERIt is a great pleasure for me to be able to address the Margaret Thatcher Centre Gala Dinner.  After we both retired from politics Baroness Thatcher and I, and our spouses, met on several occasions and became friends. I would like to share with you my thoughts about the contribution that she made to the constitutional transformation of South Africa.

It is important to remember that when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979 the country that we call South Africa was only 69 years old. 

Like most African countries it was an artificial construction of European powers.

Modern South Africa was forged in the wars of conquest that the British fought in southern Africa during the 19th century against the three dominant peoples of the sub-continent - the Xhosas; the Zulus; and my people, the Afrikaners.

SPEECH - FW DE KLERK: DEMOCRACY AND AFRICA

africa heartsIt is a great pleasure for me to visit Scotland.  I have always had an affinity with the Scots -

  • perhaps because of the role that Scottish missionaries played in the development of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa;
  • perhaps because many Scots gravitated to the Afrikaner community to the extent that there are now many Murrays, Thoms, Smiths and McGregors whose first language is Afrikaans;
  • perhaps because of the problems that your people and my people have experienced in our historic relationship with the Sassenachs!

I would like to speak to you today about the state of democracy in the world, in Africa and in South Africa.

We who live in democracies are too often inclined to dismiss the enormous benefits that we derive from a system of government that is of the people, by the people and for the people.

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