American Bar Association should reject racist F.W. de Klerk – EFF

Fighters say invite extended to former president is a spit in the face of #BlackLivesMatter movement

EFF calls for the rejection of racist F.W. de Klerk by the American Bar Association

21 June 2020

The Economic Freedom Fighters calls for the rejection of unrepentant racist F.W. De Klerk by the American Bar Association and all those in the legal profession in the United States who align themselves with ideals of anti-racism and justice. The invite extended to De Klerk by the American Bar Association is a spit in the face of the efforts being waged by the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the broader global call for the end to the violence and criminalization of black people.

Former Apartheid President De Klerk has inexplicably been invited by the US-based legal fraternity to give an address on constitutional democracy, minority rights, racism social change and racism. This is ironic and a contradiction in the most extreme sense, as De Klerk presided over a regime elected by a white-minority. A regime that practised unspeakable human rights atrocities and was founded on racist legislation. There is not an ounce of constitutionalism in De Klerk, and he has no right to speak about social change. De Klerk only succumbed to negotiations with liberation movements of South Africa because of pressure from international society and intensified political struggle by the black youth of South Africa in the 1980s, not because of any moral integrity in his racist bones.

De Klerk presided over state-sanctioned killings of black activists and is the embodiment of the racism which is entrenched in the United States law enforcement agencies which resulted in the murder of George Floyd and countless African-Americans in the recent past.

He was instrumental in orchestrating black on black violence in South Africa in the midst of negotiations towards a democratic society, notably orchestrating the brutal Boipatong Massacre which saw countless black lives lost in a political ploy that sought to weaken perception around black people to govrn themselves. It is because of the likes of De Klerk that the transition to political democracy in South Africa can never be deemed peaceful because De Klerk has the blood of black people in his hands that he has never accounted for.

Most recently, De Klerk brazenly claimed that Apartheid, a system of deliberate under-development and violence against black people, was not a crime against humanity. De Klerk, therefore, has no right or standing to speak on behalf of South Africa in the U.S. legal fraternity on topics of race or constitutionalism. He has no grasp of humanitarianism and undermines by his very existence any effort for social change within the realm of law or governance.

We call on the American Bar Association and all those affiliated to it to call for the retraction of the invite to F.W. De Klerk as it undermines the spirit of the political climate within the United States today. It goes against the efforts of those who demand black life to matter all over the world and sharpens the celebration of those who have massacred and abused black people.

Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 21 June 2020