FW de Klerk: Delivered a head-scratching statement. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach
FW de Klerk: Delivered a head-scratching statement. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

You have to wonder where FW de Klerk was during all those dark years of National Party rule for him to go on national television and say apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

Perhaps there is a parallel, hallucinogen-fuelled universe where these things — discrimination, racial classification, kragdadigheid, beatings, sexual assault, extrajudicial murder, "separate development", curfews, dispossession, job reservation, casual racism, District 6, detention without trial, torture, land theft, influx control, Vlakplaas, Soweto 1976, letter bombs, death squads, the Civil Co-operation Bureau, askaris, sjamboks, the "dompas", baasskap, forced removals, Koevoet, "Wit Doeke", banning orders, pass raids, shebeen raids, midnight raids, cross-border raids, hard labour on Robben Island, the Group Areas Act, the Mixed Marriages Act, the Immorality Act, states of emergency, "independent" homelands, whites-only benches, whites-only parks, whites-only trains, whites-only schools, the tricameral parliament, "Bantu education", impimpis, troops in the townships, teargas, rubber bullets, police dogs, shotguns, batons, birdshot, buckshot, live ammunition, Boipatong, Sharpeville, Motherwell, the Cradock Four, the Gugulethu Seven, the Pebco Three, dawn at the "hanging jail", "slipping on soap in the shower", "falling" from the ninth floor, pencil tests, electric shocks, doctored grenades, exploding headphones, kidnappings, missing sons, the sheer crushing of the human spirit through casual violence and hate — are not crimes against humanity.

But I doubt it.

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