By Hassan Isilow
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Former South African President F.W. de Klerk’s foundation apologized Monday for saying apartheid is not a crime against humanity.
“The FW de Klerk Foundation has accordingly decided to withdraw its statement of Feb. 14 unconditionally and apologizes for the confusion, anger and hurt that it has caused,” it said in a statement.
Last Thursday, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the country’s second-largest opposition party, disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech in parliament, challenging the presence of de Klerk, who served as the apartheid era’s last president.
He had been invited to attend the opening of parliament, where the president presents his annual State of the Nation address.
The foundation said in its latest statement that it supports the definition of apartheid as stated in the Rome Statute of 1998 which describes it as a crime against humanity.
It also said it remains deeply committed to national reconciliation and to achievement of the foundational values on which the South African Constitution is based, including human dignity, equality and the advancement of human rights.
De Klerk served as president from 1989-1994, bringing the apartheid system of racial segregation to an end after negotiating a transition to majority rule.
He also served as deputy president to Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black democratically elected leader.
Apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994 after blacks faced decades of racial segregation by the white minority regime.