Frederik Willem de Klerk Quotes
What I supported when I was a young man, was that the solution to bring justice to all in South Africa, was to build a little Europe there. Was to create so many nation states as there are actual nations, each with their own cultures, each with their own languages, that is what separate development tried and wanted to achieve.
Race is not the only differential in South Africa, in the new South Africa, where all schools are open, mother-tongue education is a very big issue. One of the main reasons why the dropout figure of black students, and the lower pass rate of black students in the present education system, and it was like that before, was that we didn't have mother-tongue education.
Sanctions kept us on our toes, it made us realize that we were drifting into a situation of growing isolation so I wouldn't go as far as to say sanctions didn't play a role but if I were to put on a scale, the issues of conscience played a much greater role than the sanctions. We could have withstood sanctions for many more years. We became experts in circumventing sanctions... So sanctions played a role but it wasn't the major role.
From the time I entered cabinet, the emphasis was on reforms, but reforms which did not abolish separate development, but reforms which were aimed at changing the very, very dehumanising aspects. Giving greater freedom of movement, giving private property ownership within so-called white South Africa also to blacks. Abolishing the concept of job reservation on the basis of race and colour. Allowing free organisation for trade unions, also black trade unions.
Fifteen years after the new dispensations started in South Africa, if one looks back, there are reasons to be positive and say we have achieved what we wanted to achieve, but there are also reasons for concern. Not everything turned out exactly as I would have liked it to turn out. On the positive side, we have a good constitution, there has been no effort to really amend the constitution and change the values and the principles contained therein and in our bill of rights.
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Frederik Willem de Klerk
- Born: March 18, 1936
- Occupation: Former State President of South Africa
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