Gauteng DA leader and federal leader candidate John Moodey says calls that former president FW de Klerk be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize are “a step too far”.
Moodey also called on South Africans to forgive the embattled former statesman.
De Klerk faced a renewed wave of criticism recently after he told SABC News that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
Speaking through his foundation, De Klerk later retracted the statement and apologised “for the confusion, anger and hurt that it has caused”.
It also agreed that apartheid was indeed a crime against humanity, as defined by the United Nations.
On Monday, EFF member Dali Mpofu, an advocate, launched a campaign to have De Klerk stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded in 1993 alongside the man who succeeded him as president, Nelson Mandela.
While Moodey noted that he was “deeply offended by De Klerk’s denial”, he said the former president had shown “contrition”.
“Through the De Klerk Foundation, the former president has retracted the hurtful statement and apologised. I forgive him,” Moodey said in his statement.
“I do not believe that his contribution to a peaceful South Africa should be rubbished and erased.”
It appears not everyone in the DA shared Moodey’s views.
DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Zwakele Mncwango, has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead a drive to have De Klerk’s prize withdrawn.
“All those years, I thought he was genuine, and even his foundation defended his comments, which means they also believed he is right. The apology is kind of fake because he only apologised under pressure from South Africans and the international community,” Mncwango was quoted in a report on IOL.