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.
The central message of President Zuma’s second inaugural address is that, during the next five years, his new government will launch the "second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society.
I would like to thank the University of Haifa most sincerely on behalf of all the recipients of Honorary Doctorates for the honour that has been bestowed on us today.
We represent a very wide variety of experience and expertise:
- Scientific Research
- History and Religion
- The performing and creative arts
- Diplomacy, governance and politics
- Psychology and philosophy
- Business, public service and support for good causes.
According to media reports, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is getting ready to introduce indigenous language courts "in an attempt to speed up justice" and "make courts more accessible".
A pilot project for indigenous language courts was run in 2009, but was stopped after an assessment by the Department. The Department stated last month that it was reopening the project.
According to the Department, the objective is to introduce and promote the use of indigenous languages in a few courts, then to expand to other courts.
The 21st of May is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
It is recognised to provide an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to "live together" better.
The South African Constitution fully recognises the diverse nature of our society and states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it - united in our diversity.
There are a few points that we should consider in the wake of last week’s election.
The first - and most positive - is that the fifth election of our new constitutional dispensation has helped to consolidate and entrench our constitutional democracy. The elections were free and fair and were, on the whole, managed in an exemplary fashion. All those involved - the 18.6 million voters who cast their ballots; the political parties that participated and the IEC - deserve our sincere congratulations.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of a UNESCO General Conference.
Since then every 3rd of May is an anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek and is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to:
- Celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
- Assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
- Defend the media from attacks on their independence; and
- Pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Workers Day - earlier this week - provided us with an opportunity to assess the state of employment and labour relations in our country.
The picture does not look good.
According to StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the 4th quarter of 2013 unemployment was at 24.1%. If one includes discouraged work-seekers the unemployment (expanded definition) rate jumps to 34%.
The FW de Klerk Foundation strongly rejects the view expressed by Mondli Makhanya in City Press on 27 April that we should abandon our beautiful national anthem.
It is a great pity that he chose Freedom Day - a day on which all South Africans should be celebrating the establishment of our new non-racial constitutional democracy - to air views that are so destructive of the national unity that we have been trying to achieve for the past 20 years.