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An Open Letter to Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Frederick Willem de Klerk and Bishop Desmond Tutu

By Udo W. Froese
Mr. Frederick Willem de Klerk, Bishop Desmond Philo Tutu, Sirs, By your own admission, Mr. de Klerk, you do not regard apartheid a crime against humanity. You expressed your view in your interview with CNN earlier this year. According to a CNN transcript, you defended in the interview with Christiane Amampour the system of black African "homelands", also known as "Bantustans", which were a series of geo-strategically positioned and isolated puppet states. Those were created under South Africa's racist- apartheid government for the strategic purpose to separate people based on their ethnicity. Your representative followed up saying, your "comment was taken out of context". Bishop Tutu, your thundering silence on your Nobel peace price colleague's racist viewpoints mentioned above, is on record.

So, Bishop Tutu, is your public ranting to pray for the collapse of the ANC; your turning a blind eye to the structured moral decay of society as demonstrated by some art galleries and the media you love so much; your acceptance of awards from the corporate world, not criticising structured poverty by a hostile, cartelised economy with its price fixing and lobbying. In fact, you are on record for not ever having been critical of the banking cartel and its exploitative machinations in South Africa.

It is documented that South Africa's and in the same breadth, Namibia's colonialapartheid past cannot come to rest. "The huge amount of unfinished business relating to the apartheid past has crippled both countries in many ways", writes renowned author, columnist and journalist, Terry Bell, in his book in association with advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, "Unfinished Business, South Africa, Apartheid & Truth."

Adv. Ntsebeza also serves as a trustee on your "Desmond Tutu Peace Trust". The "Truth Commission" under you, Bishop Desmond Tutu, failed dismally. The apartheid crimes and their structures were never exposed. Neither you, as fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, nor anyone of the "Truth Commission" made any effort to even touch on the killings in the prisons, on the farms and in the private business sector, the brutalities in the mining industry and the breaking up of indigenous African families in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, initiated by the mining and agricultural industries and legalised by the colonial- apartheid regime.

The people of the Sadc region and beyond are aware. They still suffer. It is historic fact that the most brutal abuses of black humans under apartheid were meted out in South Africa and Namibia. In fact, South Africa's apartheid crimes in Namibia were hardly mentioned. SWAPO Secretary General and Minister of Justice, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana's parents were killed in the northern Namibian "border war" with Angola and buried in one of the many mass graves. They have not been found to this day. This is the tragic case of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Sadc region.

Huge additional crimes under the already criminal pass laws remain not investigated. Under the influx control, the harassment of indigenous black Africans in the rural areas led to thousands of deaths. Your real crime, Bishop Tutu, is that you refused to touch on the colonial-apartheid crimes. Your report is empty of any of those mass-murders. This will follow you into your grave and destroy your "legacy".

In the above context, dear Bishop Tutu, it is observed that your "Truth Commission" was a mere structure to cushion indigenous black African anger at that time of history. Your "Desmond Tutu Peace Trust" claims that you work on resolving conflicts and building bridges. One would not think so, listening to your public attacks on the ANC, its leadership and government, always coming in from and then returning back to retirement. It is true that you have never been a member of the ANC. The above-mentioned apartheid crimes still cause huge suffering and leave both countries, South Africa and Namibia, "crippled in many ways", as the majority of the executioners of that evil system received blanket amnesty.

"Corrupt and many pockets of poisonous racism remain imbedded deep within society. Many of the most senior agents of apartheid - within the army, the police, the secret services - remain in place", Terry Bell puts on record in his book, "Unfinished Business".

It is viewed as dangerous not to fully expose the criminal past and make sure that those criminals will be fully exposed and dealt with, as they still remain in positions of power. Parts of it are out in the public domain, gentlemen. Let history as documented in Terry Bell and Dumisa Ntsebeza's book, "Unfinished Business", speak.

The scene is the urban warfare described by a helpful neoliberal corporate media then as "black on black violence" in South Africa's townships in 1993, in the build-up to the first democratic elections, producing Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected black president.

"Unfinished Business, South Africa, Apartheid & Truth", documents, "In November 1993 for example, as Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk made their separate ways to Oslo (Norway) to collect a jointly awarded Nobel peace price. De Klerk was legally implicated in a massacre. There was no outcry. Hardly anyone knew that the last apartheid president had admitted a crossborder attack by a state hit squad that had seen five school students shot dead while they slept."

Terry Bell reported that as you, Mr. de Klerk, were on your way to collect the peace prize, you "were cited as a defendant in the Transkei Supreme Court in a civil action for murder brought by the parents of the five children who had been killed by the apartheid security forces in their sleep at his (De Klerk's) admitted behest." This had struck Terry Bell as a journalist who then "sent it to the newspapers in every capital that De Klerk would be visiting as well as to the local media. It was not published." Bell writes, "Later, and again without attendant publicity, Mandela intervened and persuaded the families of the murdered students to drop the case and accept an out of court settlement. De Klerk ordered the payment of a large sum of state money (tax payers' money) in compensation, and a convenient blanket of silence fell over the massacre.

The aforementioned shameful episode in the country's history was only revealed when the book "Unfinished Business" was published in 2001. Bishop Tutu, you had again nothing to say. You described the citizens of this country as a "rainbow nation" and hailed your "Truth Commission" a success, when it was in actual fact a total failure. Therefore, South Africans are entitled to ask, how long will this country's "political miracle" last.

The captains of industry got away unchallenged, having turned overnight against colonial- apartheid. Yet, they built huge, exclusive industries and cartels with the full assistance of brutal apartheid laws and structures. To this day, they continue with their political power peddling from the shadows. Apartheid has proven not to be the ceiling.

Your silence on South Africa's killing fields and death farms, on no end to structured poverty for the indigenous African majority and the collusion of the owners of the economy to retain the status quo, is thundering and happens under your watch, Mr. de Klerk and Bishop Tutu.


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