COMMENTS BY FW DE KLERK AT THE PRESIDENTS’ PANEL RHEBOKSKLOOF
It is a great honour to share this platform with former President Motlanthe. He is a leader whom I have always respected and who has always in my opinion represented the best traditions of the ANC.
The time has come for us to speak very frankly about the future of our country.
22 years ago the ANC, the National Party, the Inkatha Freedom party and some 20 other political organisations - representing the vast majority of all our people and communities - reached an historic agreement on the future of our country.
We agreed to establish a non-racial constitutional democracy that would be dedicated to human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement human rights and freedoms.
It was our proudest moment. We were able to overcome centuries of conflict, fear and injustice through rational negotiation and compromise. What we did was regarded by the world as a miracle - as an example for the resolution of conflict everywhere.
Under the exemplary leadership of Nelson Mandela we started to lay the foundations of a rainbow nation. South Africa assumed a position of respect and influence in the international community. President Mbeki and Trevor Manuel implemented policies that achieved growth levels of more than 5%; that reduced our national deficit and attracted international investments.
This historic agreement and everything which has been achieved since then is now at risk.
President Mbeki’s orthodox economic policies were unacceptable to COSATU and the SACP. In what they described as a struggle for the heart and soul of the ANC they succeeded, together with other factions, in capturing control of the ANC at its national conference in Polokwane in December, 2007.
They ousted President Mbeki and ensured that Jacob Zuma - with his powerful Zulu base - would be elected as President of the ANC - and ultimately as president of the country.
The Polokwane coup has had very negative consequences for South Africa:
Firstly, the abandonment of President Mbeki’s economic policies and the adoption of the SACP's more socialist and state-directed approach has been the main cause of South Africa’s failure - failure to achieve the high growth levels that we need to combat unemployment and inequality, and that we are capable of.
Secondly, President Zuma's legal problems have resulted in serious political interference in state institutions dealing with justice. They led to the dissolution of the highly effective Scorpions and to gross political interference in the National Prosecuting Authority, the Police and the Scorpion’s successor, the Hawks. This has opened the way to rampant corruption at all levels of government.
Thirdly, after Polokwane the SACP was able to pursue its Mid-Term Vision of establishing hegemony in all the centres of state power. Without winning a single vote in its own name it now controls 40% of all cabinet posts - with dominant influence within the Presidency and ministries dealing with economic policy and property rights.
Gwede Mantashe - the Secretary-General of the ANC; Jeff Radebe - the Minister in the Presidency, and many other key ministers are all members of the SACP's Central committee. To whom do they really give their first loyalty?
All this has been accompanied by the continuing appointment of unqualified ANC cadres to key positions in parastatals, municipalities, the Police and the public service. The result has been a serious erosion of the capacity of the state and of its ability to provide essential services. The most visible example is the current crisis at Eskom.
Finally, the SACP’s success at Polokwane has opened the way to what the ANC calls “the radical implementation of the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution” - with very serious consequences for South Africa’s minorities.
When Jeff Radebe introduced the so-called second phase approach in March 2012, he said that changes in the balance of forces in South Africa and globally had enabled the ANC to dispense with some of the constitutional compromises on which the ‘first transition’ was based. This flies in the face of everything Nelson Mandela stood for.
The NDR's final goal is the establishment of the ‘National Democratic Society’ that will be characterised by demographic representivity throughout government, society and the private sector in terms of ownership, management and employment.
Manifestations of the radical second phase include the cancellation of bilateral investment treaties with European countries; a raft of legislation that will seriously undermine property rights; the eclipsing of National Development Plan by the SACP’s economic programme; and the ratcheting up of radical land reform, BBBEE and affirmative action.
The idea is ultimately to reduce white land ownership, property, companies and employment to the ever-shrinking percentage of the population that they represent. The same fate would befall the Coloured and Indian minorities.
Demographic representivity is already being applied rigorously in the public sector - and Minister Rob Davies - an SACP Central Committee member - is demanding that the private sector must follow suit.
Minister Blade Nzimande - the SACP General Secretary - intends to impose demographic representivity on all our universities. There will be no place for Afrikaans-language universities and Afrikaans schools are increasingly under threat - despite the constitutional right to education in the language of one’s choice.
The “radical implementation of the second phase” would result in the disempowerment of minorities in every facet of their lives - in the economy, in the national heritage, and in schools and universities.
The system would, of course, be introduced gradually with what the ANC calls “discretion of tact and firmness of principle” playing heavily on white guilt over the past. It would dispense with minority skills only when they were no longer needed.
All this is being done in the name of promoting equality - but all the evidence shows that affirmative action and BBBEE have benefited only a small part of the black population and have actually had a detrimental effect on the great majority of truly disadvantaged South Africans.
Hierdie nuwe vorm van omvattende rassediskriminasie hou nie rekening met die omstandighede van die betrokke individue nie - of hulle ryk of arm is; jonk of oud is. Dit hou nie rekening met die bydrae wat hulle tot die ekonomie en die samelewing gemaak het; met hulle kwalifikasies, hul vaardighede en hul ondernemings nie. Dit is vir die huidige bewind voldoende dat hulle aan die geteikende ras behoort.
Dit neem ook nie in ag die groot skade wat gedoen sal word aan die ekonomie nie; aan Suid-Afrika se posisie in die wêreld; en aan ons vermoë om die lewens van miljoene gewone Suid-Afrikaners van alle rasse te verbeter.
Die grootste hartseer is dat dit rasseharmonie en nasionale eenheid ernstig sal bedreig. Dit sal 'n einde bring aan die groot eksperiment wat ons 25 jaar gelede met soveel hoop en welwillendheid begin het.
Dit sal dié dag inlui wat Nelson Mandela belowe het nooit, nooit en nooit weer sou gebeur nie, dat in hierdie pragtige land een groep weer deur 'n ander oorheers word.
Dit is die betekenis van die radikale implementering van die tweede fase van die nasionale demokratiese revolusie.
However, it is not only a threat to our minorities. It is a dire threat to all South Africans.
The anti-property legislation currently before Parliament will sooner or later be used to undermine the property rights of all citizens.
The erosion of the rights of minorities will lead to erosion of the majority’s rights as well.
The achievement of the SACP's publicly acknowledged ultimate goal of establishing a communist state would bring to an end our constitutional democracy and the rights and freedoms of all South Africans.
Suid-Afrikaners uit al ons gemeenskappe - insluitend baie lede van die ANC wat diep bekommerd is - moet verstaan dat die toekoms van ons nie-rassige grondwetlike demokrasie in ons eie hande lê. Ons moet gebruik maak van al die magte en regte wat die Grondwet aan ons gee om ons nie-rassige demokrasie te verdedig:
Ons moet gebruik maak van ons reg op vrye politieke aktiwiteit om in die Parlement te veg teen die radikale tweede fase.
Ons moet dit uitdaag in die Howe;
Ons moet daarteen argumenteer in die media en op die slagveld van idees;
Ons moet gebruik maak van ons reg tot vrye assosiasie, ons reg om te protesteer en om te staak - ter ondersteuning van nie-rassigheid en die ander fundamentele waardes in die Grondwet.
Ons moet bewys dat daar ander, baie beter maniere is om 'n samelewing te bereik wat gegrond is op gelykheid, geregtigheid en vryheid vir al ons mense.
The ANC/SACP is deeply mistaken if it thinks that there can be a successful future without the cooperation of all the important segments of the population and of the economy. The political transition was a success precisely because it was the result of genuine negotiations and compromises between all segments of our population.
There has not been a proper debate or consultation process about the so-called second phase. It is irreconcilable with the agreements we reached. We do not accept it and will oppose it with all the powers that the Constitution has placed in our hands.
Ons Suid-Afrikaners moet weer met mekaar in gesprek tree oor die beste manier om 'n samelewing te bereik gebaseer op menswaardigheid, gelykheid, menseregte en vryhede.
Die doel van so ‘n diskoers moet nie wees om die Grondwet te heronderhandel nie, maar om - binne die raamwerk van die Grondwet - ‘n weg te vind om geregtigheid vir almal te verseker, om gelyke geleenthede vir alle Suid-Afrikaners te ontsluit en om Suid-Afrika weereens ‘n baken van hoop te maak vir al sy mense.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation, May 22 2015