30 Years Since F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal

Ilana Mercer – The Unz Review Feb 6, 2020

Image result for fw de klerk nelson mandela

FW de Klerk, left, and Nelson Mandela

On February 2, 1990, 30 years ago, F. W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, turned the screws on his constituents, betraying the confidence we had placed in him.
I say “we,” because, prior to becoming president in 1989, Mr. de Klerk was my representative, in the greater Vereeniging region of Southern Transvaal, where I resided. (Our family subsequently moved to Cape Town.)
A constellation of circumstances had aligned to catapult de Klerk to a position of great power. A severe stroke forced the “The Crocodile,” President P. W. Botha, from power in 1989. Nothing in the background of his successor, President, F. W. de Klerk, indicated the revolutionary policies he would pursue.
To a 1992 referendum asking white voters if they favored de Klerk’s proposed reforms, we returned a resounding “yes.” Sixty-eight percent of respondents said “yes” to the proposed reforms of a man who sold his constituents out for a chance to frolic on the world stage with Nelson Mandela.
For surrendering South Africa to the ANC, de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela.
Why was de Klerk trusted to negotiate on behalf of a vulnerable racial minority? For good reason: De Klerk had made his views abundantly clear to constituents. “Negotiations would only be about power-sharing,” he promised. At the time, referendum respondents generally trusted de Klerk, who had specifically condemned crude majority rule. Such elections, in Africa, have traditionally amounted to one man, one vote, one time. Typically, elections across Africa have followed a familiar pattern: Radical black nationalist movements take power everywhere, then elections cease. Or, if they take place, they’re rigged.
Among much else, de Klerk’s loyal constituents agreed to his scrapping of the ban on the communistic African National Congress. Freeing Nelson Mandela from incarceration was also viewed as long overdue as was acceding to Namibia’s independence, and junking nuclear weapons. Botha, before de Klerk, had, by and large, already dismantled the most egregious aspects of apartheid.
What de Klerk’s constituents were not prepared for was to be legislated into a permanent position of political subordination. President de Klerk, the man entrusted to stand up for crucial structural liberties, went along with the Great Centralizers. He caved to ANC demands, forgoing all checks and balances for South Africa’s Boer, British and Zulu minorities.
By the time the average “yes” voter discerned the fact that de Klerk had no intention of maintaining this opposition when push came to shove, it was too late.
Thus, with de Klerk’s collaboration, and under the wing of the American eagle—in particular, U.S. negotiators like Herman Cohen, under-secretary of state for Africa—the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu minorities were ordered to forgo minority veto power, meaningful power-sharing and checks on power in the form of a second chamber. Substantive devolution of authority to the regions of South Africa was also denied.
Yet somehow, a new generation of South Africans, Afrikaner and English, reveres F. W. de Klerk, even crediting the former South African president as a reformer, who led “the country out of the political dead-end [in which] it found itself.”
“Today,” declares de Klerk adulator Pieter du Toit, “South Africa is a democracy, with rights-based guarantees.” The writer, editor of a large internet news site, is perfectly serious when he touts South Africa as a country that affords its citizens “rights-based guarantees.” For this reason, du Toit should not be taken seriously.
Universal suffrage is not to be conflated with freedom. As Iraqis learned after their “liberation,” ink-stained fingers don’t inoculate against blood stains, or, rather, rivers of blood.
As the democratic South Africa amply demonstrates, political rights and a paper constitution don’t secure the natural rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
A civilized society, ultimately, is one in which the individual can go about the business of life unmolested. If he can’t do that simple thing, of what value is the vote or a constitution? Extant societal structures that safeguard life and property can always be improved upon. But once these bulwarks against mob rule and mayhem disintegrate, as they have in South Africa, they’re seldom restored.
Far and away the most perplexing paragraph in du Toit’s ode to de Klerk is his historical justification for de Klerk’s giving the shop to the ANC:
“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989,” writes du Toit, “along with a series of governments in the Eastern Bloc, [de Klerk] knew it was a matter of time before the Soviet Union fell, and with that the ANC’s biggest support base. De Klerk recognized the moment to move forward.”
Let me see if I grasp the logic of a surrender without defeat:
The ANC’s biggest backer, the USSR, was on the verge of collapse. Therefore, goes the author’s logic, the time was ripe to surrender South Africa to the Soviet Union’s satellite, the ANC? This is worse than a non sequitur. It’s nonsense.
At the time de Klerk, pushed by American negotiators, gave away the store, the ANC heroes were a ragtag bunch of exiled has-been communists, scattered all over Africa and Europe; monosyllabic, apathetic, oft-inebriated men, whose main admirers were their Swedish groupies.
By contrast, someone who did have real power was Constand Viljoen, a military hero and former chief of the South African Defense Force. Gen. Viljoen represented the hardliner Afrikaners and the security forces. Viljoen believed, correctly, that de Klerk had shirked his responsibilities to the electorate. He planned on leading a coalition that would have deposed the freelancing de Klerk and negotiated for an Afrikaner ethnic state.
Ditto Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, chief minister of the KwaZulu homeland and leader of the Zulu people and their Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). His championship of self-determination had been denied.
Buthelezi was fed up to the back teeth with being sidelined. He and his Zulu impis (warriors) were every bit as fractious as Viljoen; every bit as willing to fight for their rightful corner of the African Eden.
For setting his sights on decentralized sovereignty in Zululand, the Zulu royal and his following (close on 20% of the South African population) were condemned as reactionaries by the West, whose interests de Klerk was, by now, championing.
Alas, the African gentleman (Buthelezi) and the Afrikaner general (Viljoen) were no match for conniving communists (ANC) and a knavish collaborator:
F.W. de Klerk.
Citations are in “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011) by ilana mercer


6 responses to “30 Years Since F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal”

  1. You will find apon thorough investigation that De Klerk was a crypto jew and/or a freemason.
    This USUALLY explains anomalies like this.

    Thus Hitlers “stop order” had an ulterior objective….no conquering army willing gives up the initiative…..the whole British Army would have been overrun….

  2. This is the most misguided column i have read on this platform.

    I, myself being a South African, i find this information to be quite irrelevant.

    Is the author of this column trying to justify the policies of apartheid, citing the misfortune of a minority of white settlers against the self determination of the the black people of SA and Africa as a whole?

    Is she comparing “nice to haves” of European settlers with the “need to haves of Africans”?

    What special Rights did the settlers deserve in the context of that whole narrative?

    Secondly, why would the writer bundle together Zulus specifically with the settlers and referring to them as a minority when the writer clearly states that, they “the Zulus” constitute a 20% of the total population of SA. Is that what constitute a minority. Are you for real?

    The story of South Africa is still to be told. Where we are right now, is a point of removing the blind folds on the eyes of the world to what SA means to the rulers of this world and why the suffering of the majority can never be allowed to stop.

    SA is not unique in the suffrage experience by all countries that experienced European settlers. It is simple, White came into Africa with a clear plan to raid and conquer African states (Should we even go into the context of the Berlin Conference or the real meaning of the Imperial Commonwealth system?). It is absurd that Whites should cry foul when they feel that not all is going their way yet few said anything when atrocities where matted out to get these African states to get them to tow the line and allow the settlers to do as they please and guarantee special treatment for Whites and Europeans as whole.

    The sad part to all this is that even today, the so called leader of the new dispensation are still just proxies of the settlers with no REAL power and worse to be labelled as being in control.

    I believe that articles like these are written by aloof narrators with a mandate to either keep this narrative of an evil and uncontrollable black power with no regard for the poor ill treated White minority or to remind black power of its true and meaningless place.

    These people try to sound woke and go out of their way to tell “POOR” White people what they want to hear to help them sleep at night and justify their well documented ill treatment and disgust they feel for the Black Majority.

    Black people in Africa do not have any REAL power as defined by the author. FW did not betray anybody as the author would like us to believe but rather negotiated a great deal to ensure that the settlers never want for anything in this precious cake that is Africa. Instead of Europeans demanding an Ethnic state in African as suggested by the author, maybe they should just go back to where they came from. Period.

    All i am sensing is a panic in the writer’s voice of the impending thought of white people loosing any property to unruly black mobs through expropriation without compensation process which is currently under discussion in SA? A sense of FEAR Mongering.

    Are Blacks the problem? You be the judge.

  3. The Bantu tribes of South Africa themselves are settlers… maybe you should ask the bushmen Nkosi?

  4. The wealth and resources of South Africa were secured by De Klerk an Mandela to remain safely in the same hands that they’ve always been, i.e. the Oppenheimer family (Jews, not Afrikaaners). The one thing I can not understand is how the ANC permitted the delisting of De Beers from the JSE.

  5. Sam has it about right. Of course Mandela and Mbeki were/are both Knights of Malta. Didn’t de Klerk take the golden handshake and is living in luxury in Argentina ?South Africa is now a failed state under black rule with all so called black leaders being puppets. Black people will never acknowledge the failure as evidenced by Nkosi’s racist perspective – no surprise given the brutality of apartheid. The common man always suffers regardless of race.It seems obvious to me as someone who was born and lives in south africa that the spectacular collapse of this country is well-coordinated.

  6. Nkosi please read your SA history.the zulus emigrated south and as can be determined arrived 1700. Ditto the xhosa arriving 1800. The whites arr 1652 or 1452 depending on your reference point. Since when does 20% represent a majority. You forget the whole initial narrative when de klerk arrived on the scene (his deal was the worst of all deals and should have been negotiated on the basis of a coaltion govt. made up of one individual from each tribe) as dictated by the usa/uk was divide and rule from abroad (we were a republic and now part of the commonwealth where SA needs to follow british dictat at the un etc) and the rape of SA natural resources. Let the scales fall from your eyes and see the wood from the trees. Gov. Primary, secondary and tertiary education has deteriorated and is a joke. In my time if you flunked your first year at varsity you were out. Today the pass mark has dropped to 30% just to get blacks through the education system. There is only a semblance of justice os security. Over 3500 farmers have been murdered and wives and daughters raped and quartered. Time to clear the swamp. There is enormous talent in SA. So grt rid of this,affirmative action, land grab. Have you ever considered whether an african is able undertake large scale farming. Not one. Look at the economy. Mismanagement abounds. from a respected credit rating of A1 pre 1994 (as was eskom not to mention the outages. Note the anc was informed to build new power stations prior to them ascending to power but nothing happened). SA is now rated just above junk. Sa airways in administration. Every dept is a basket case. Budget deficit has risen 4 fold. The story of SA has already been told over the past 24 years.Time to wake up and smell the coffee