Why FW de Klerk let Nelson Mandela out of prison | World news | The Guardian
De Klerk did not intend to release Mandela on that day; he wanted to end The relationship between the two men started earlier, in December. In fact de Klerk had no intention of freeing Mandela that day. . De Klerk's relationship with President Botha, never easy, soon deteriorated as. Blair, David., (), 'Nelson Mandela's fraught relationship with FW de Klerk', from telegraph UK, 6 December, [online], Available at az-links.info
As he prepared his 2 February speech at his holiday home in Hermanus in the Western Cape, De Klerk claims he had no confidant.
I preferred decisions to evolve out of cabinet discussions. That way we achieved real co-ownership of our policies.
Nelson Mandela's fraught relationship with FW de Klerk
But he also claims — in a line of argument that allows him to avoid condemning apartheid outright — that the system unravelled through a gradual process.
Even today, he admits only that international sanctions against South Africa "from time to time kept us on our toes". In prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd's government divided black South Africans into eight ethnic groups and allocated them "homelands" — nations within the nation. The move was a cornerstone of an Afrikaner nationalist dream to create a republic, but it led to international isolation.
De Klerk was a vigorous supporter. It focused on making separate development more acceptable while still believing it was just.
But by the early s we had ended up in a dead-end street in which a minority would continue to hold the reins of power and blacks, outside the homelands, really did not have any meaningful political rights. We had become too economically inter-dependent. We had become an omelette that you could not unscramble. Then my predecessor lost his enthusiasm. When I took over, my task was to flesh out what was already a fairly clear vision, but we needed broad support.
F. W. de Klerk - Wikipedia
In Octobera month after succeeding Botha, he released Mandela's political mentor, Walter Sisulu, and seven other prominent Robben Island prisoners. He spent a long time expressing his admiration for the Boer generals and how ingenious they were during the Anglo-Boer war. We did not discuss the fundamental problems or our political philosophies at all. On the economic side, the ANC was fundamentally socialistic, the influence of the Communist party was pervasive and they wanted nationalisation.
They also wanted to create an unelected government of national unity which would organise elections. We insisted on governing until a new constitution had been negotiated and adopted by parliament. They also entrenched minority rights constitutionally and set the country on a capitalist path.
It was drafted by our finance minister, Derek Keys, and he convinced them of the necessity to stay within the free-market principles that had been in force in South Africa for decades. The ANC has stuck to these principles and that is one of the great positives. De Klerk, who retired as deputy president inalso believes South Africa is ripe for a political shake-up, maybe as soon as in next year's municipal elections.
We need a realignment in politics. I am convinced there will be further splits in the ANC because you cannot keep together people who believe in hardline socialism and others who have become convinced of free-market principles. The elections will be the opportunity for some much-needed shock therapy. I hope people at those elections will use their right to vote less with emotion and more through reason to express their concerns about the failure of service delivery.
We see an attitude in which for certain purposes all people of colour are black, but for other purposes black Africans have a more valid case in the field of, for example, affirmative action than do brown or Indian South Africans.
The legacy of Mandela — reconciliation — urgently needs to be revived. Asked what would have happened had he not made the 2 February speech, De Klerk has a ready answer. The majority of people in the world would be intent on overthrowing the government.
It accused Mr De Klerk of heading "an illegitimate discredited minority regime and of being incapable of upholding moral standards," the former president complains. But even a handshake had become anathema: It deteriorated yet further when the unhappy pair made their separate ways to Oslo to collect their Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently he was not pleased with the decision to include me in the award.
But later Mr De Klerk and his wife, Marike, felt insulted by the Norwegian people while standing on a balcony with Mr Mandela watching a torchlight parade in the snow. The scene seemed charming enough until people began chanting ANC slogans and lauding Mr Mandela; some even called, "Kill the farmer, kill the Boer. Under the interim constitution, Mr De Klerk became a deputy prime minister.
Mr Mandela was expected to move into a residence known as the Presidency, which used to accommodate the ceremonial state president, and Mr De Klerk was told he would be allowed to remain in the house he and Marike had been occupying, Libertas. Then Mr Mandela came to say he was under great pressure from the ANC to move into Libertas himself, as that was seen to be the home of the head of government.
The De Klerks would have to use the Presidency. But having absorbed this, the De Klerks were then told by Mr Mandela that senior colleagues wanted to put the Presidency to other uses. They were then given Overvaal, the former home of Transvaal's administrators, which the public works department agreed needed substantial refurbishing.
The two men and a public works architect spent one Saturday winter morning going through the house, with the architect justifying a new fridge here or some redecoration there. Mr De Klerk said it was a matter of "supreme indifference" to him which residence he occupied.