President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation address (Sona) was a surprise hit with the FW De Klerk foundation, eNCA reported on Saturday.
The foundation figure-headed by South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, who shares a Nobel peace prize with the late Nelson Mandela for his role in paving the way towards democracy, said the Sona shows that Ramaphosa is serious about finding new solutions to South Africa’s problems.
The foundation applauded Ramaphosa’s announcement that Eskom will be split into three and that a National Security Council will be re-established, while voicing criticism on the issue of land and the National Health Insurance Bill.
Not everyone was open to hearing what 82-year-old De Klerk had to say about Sona.
Some on Twitter expressed their lack or receptivity to the foundation’s message.
Some users even responded with the phrase “I don’t FW De Klerk”, a phrase that became popular after celebrity Sizwe Dhlomo wrote a now deleted tweet saying “I’m printing T-shirts and giving them out for free. I don’t FW De Klerk”.
While he has since deleted the tweet, the phrase still managed to catch on.
Any SONA that makes de Klerk happy cannot be good for black people, nivuka nini? https://t.co/qhfq0fiqVC
— Khandani Msibi (@KhandaniM) February 9, 2019
— Uncle Sammy???????? (@MashSammy) February 10, 2019
We don't fw de klerk bro https://t.co/G6cZVLts9L
— SMILE ° (@nguOdwa_) February 10, 2019
— Zweli Madlala (@ZweliMadlala) February 10, 2019
Dhlomo’s tweet was a reaction to a speech De Klerk made at the Cape Town Press Club recently, that was not well received by some social media users.
Among the more controversial comments De Klerk made was that South Africa was worse off now than during apartheid.
“South Africa is a more unequal society in 2019 then it was in 1994 and is now the most unequal society in the world,” he said.
The second part of his statement is based on a report by the World Bank released in April 2018 that put South Africa at the top of a list of countries most plagued by inequality.
The Human Rights Commission compiled an inequality report last year which came to the same conclusion.
However, the World Bank report indicated the opposite of what De Klerk did regarding South Africa’s trajectory since 1994. It “shows that, overall, poverty levels are lower today compared to 1994”.
De Klerk also said there is hypocrisy and a lack of balance in the way South Africans deal with race.
“We are observing a disturbing escalation of aggressive racial rhetoric punctuated by ugly incidents such as the recent victimisation of a young teacher in Schweizer-Reneke and the invasion of a primary school by an angry mob,” he said.
“There is no balance in the manner in which racist remarks and incidents are judged. Foolish and unacceptable racist remarks by one [nonentity], not intended for public dissemination, are treated far more harshly than incendiary remarks made in public by political leaders openly calling for racial violence.”