In old footage of Cyril Ramaphosa long before he was president, the then ANC secretary-general said he had charged FW de Klerk for complicity in the slaughter that took place in the Boipatong, south of Johannesburg.
“We charge de Klerk and his government with complicity in the slaughter that has taken place in this area,” Ramaphosa said.
The Boipatong massacre took place on the night of 17 June 1992 in the township of Boipatong, Vanderbijlpark.
That was then and today his the country's hero ???? pic.twitter.com/SxvSJJ8UEK
— Vladimir Strzhlkovsky???? (@pasekapaskos) February 14, 2020
Mobs of armed attackers targeted the township, leaving many, including an infant, dead.
Ramaphosa, after touring the township, stressed that his party had never seen an incident as horrific.
Laying the blame at De Klerk’s feet, he said the incident could lead to derailed negotiations.
This week, Ramaphosa, while addressing a crowd gathered at the City Hall in Cape Town where Nelson Mandela made his first speech following his release, said it had not been the kindness of De Klerk that led to the release of Mandela, but the pressure the apartheid government had faced.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the 30th anniversary of the release of Mandela from Victor Verster prison.
De Klerk attended Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address on Thursday night despite the EFF’s warning for him to steer clear of it after his recent remarks in a radio interview.
The red berets claimed he had blood on his hands and should leave parliament.
On a point of order, EFF leader Julius Malema called De Klerk a murderer who had denied that apartheid was a crime against humanity. He also alleged De Klerk had presided over Vlakplaas, an apartheid-era farm where anti-apartheid activists were murdered.
“We ask that he leave this parliament because he has blood on his hands. He does not belong here.”
Speaker Thandi Modise dismissed the EFF’s order, saying De Klerk was invited as the former president.
This caused an outcry on social media. Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina later admitted he had felt emotional about De Klerk’s attendance.
In a tweet, he wrote: “Towards the unbanning of political parties, we used to sing the song “U De Klerk as’mfuni, Sifun’ uMandela…. we Nyamazane” (we don’t want De Klerk, we want Nelson Mandela). I found myself very emotional last night. I’m just saying.”
Towards the unbanning of Political Parties we used to sing the song “U De Klerk as’mfuni, Sifun’ uMandela…. we Nyamazane”. I found myself very emotional last night. I’m just saying ????????????
— Mzwandile Masina (@mzwandileMasina) February 14, 2020
Masina was not the only one touched by De Klerk’s attendance. Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela was apparently left heartbroken by.
As a loyal and dedicated member of @MYANC I am heartbroken????this happened to my Mother and many others under De Klerk's watch. According to his interview, he justified this, therefore saying that that my Mother and others deserved this aggression. What do we stand for? pic.twitter.com/wN0dPorOQ2
— Zindzi Mandela (@ZindziMandela) February 13, 2020
(Background reporting: Vhahangwele Nemakonde)