The South African Council of Churches is calling on the De Klerk Foundation to retract and apologize in the wake of a 14 February statement issued by the foundation amplifying the position that apartheid was not a crime against humanity, but a Soviet propaganda ploy.
“Are they naive, blind, or simply malicious and just unable to fathom the grave impact of apartheid, just because we don’t make big of it today?” asks the South African Council of Churches. “Lest we forget, between 1960 and 1983, the apartheid government forcibly removed some 3.5 million black South Africans in what has been described as ‘one of the largest mass removals of people in modern history’.”
If this is not a crime against humanity, then the De Klerk Foundation is suggesting that it is no crime to forcibly remove helpless people under the barrel of a gun, the threat of vicious dogs, and the might of bulldozers, notes the statement from the South African Council of Churches. “Look at the continued effects of apartheid on the supposedly free South Africa: look at the lot of its victims in the townships and the squalor of the squatter camps!” the statement reads. “The very so-called black on black conflict that the De Klerk Foundation quotes to exculpate the apartheid regime, was the direct result and the logical outcome of apartheid policies, application and machinations.”
It is hard to believe that the De Klerk Foundation is ignorant of all this, the South African Council of Churches continues. “We pray for God’s grace to help open their eyes to the effect of their blindness in their interpretation of apartheid,” the statement reads. “And we appeal to them, for the sake of nation building, to retract their position on this and apologise for the hurt that it causes the majority of South Africans who bore the brunt of the apartheid system.”
The South African Council of Churches is appealing to all organised bodies of South Africans to repudiate the De Klerk Foundation’s position on apartheid. “We request South Africans to identify with the rallying cry that says “Apartheid was a Crime; One South Africa One Nation!” ”