LETTER: What if De Klerk stayed on ‘total onslaught’ road?
Former president took branch that has led country to where it finds itself today
FW de Klerk came to a fork in the road, and without much delay for futurist-scenario examination took the branch that has led the country to where it finds itself today.
A minority of voters opposed his decision, announced on February 2 1990, but as the outcome unfolded over the next 30 years, more and more became disillusioned with majority rule and crossed over to swell the ranks of the Jeremiahs. Hundreds of thousands gave up all hope and emigrated.
It has in some quarters become fashionable to blame FW for the mess SA finds itself in 2021, and to besmirch his legacy with the failures of others. I believe it would be a worthwhile endeavour for a gathering of historians and scenario forecasters (drawn from opposing political cultures) to work out probable consequences had FW chosen to continue along the “total onslaught” road. And also for those who slate his collaborator, Nelson Mandela, as a sell-out for reaching the agreement he did with FW.
Let all put rather more thought into the meaning of the legacies of those two giants of our history, than do those who think they could have done better. May FW de Klerk’s soul rest in peace.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an email with your comments. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Send your letter by email to email@example.com. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime telephone number.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.