The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will oppose the state funeral of apartheid’s last president FW de Klerk “by all means necessary”.
The 85-year-old De Klerk succumbed to mesothelioma at his Fresnaye home in Cape Town.
Earlier this year, the retired politician was diagnosed with Mesothelioma – a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.
The diagnosis came only months after he received backlash for his stance that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
While he later retracted the statement, the EFF was among parties that rejected the “insincere and irrelevant” apology.
Following the news of his passing, the EFF reiterated its rejection of De Klerk’s place in history.
“De Klerk, who denied that the legislated separate development, exploitation, torture and murder of black people was a crime against humanity, dies with no honour, and with the dark cloud of having maimed and traumatised families across our nation,” the red berets said in a charged statement.
“As a President of Apartheid, De Klerk holds no legitimate claim to any title or honour of having led this country. He was a President of an undemocratic and racist society, which elected him as a minority. He was a President who led on the basis of the political and economic disenfranchisement of the majority black population of South Africa.”
The family is yet to release details about the funeral arrangements, but it’s believed he will be cremated at a private ceremony.
It’s unclear if President Cyril Ramaphosa will declare a state funeral in his honour.
The country appears divided on whether he should be honoured with a State funeral.
The EFF is clear it belongs to the camp that doesn’t believe government should foot the bill.
“It is for this very reason that the EFF calls for De Klerk not to be given a State Funeral of any category, as he lost the right to be honoured the day that the evil regime he led collapsed in 1994.
“To honour De Klerk with a State Funeral would be to spit in the face of gallant liberation heroes who suffered in his hands, and had their children murdered in his quest to stifle the freedom of black people. A State Funeral for F.W De Klerk would be an insult to the families of the Cradock Four, it would undermine the memory of the people of Boipatong, Mthatha, Bhisho, the people of Vosloorus and many communities who were maimed by his state-sponsored black on black violence.”
The party has also threatened public protest if flags fly at half-mast.
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