F. W. de Klerk

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I'm certain about my decision. Stop hoping.

Frederik Willem de Klerk (born 18 March 1936) is a South African politician who served as the country's last "State President" from September 1989 to May 1994.


  • History has placed a tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of this country's leadership, namely the responsibility of moving our country away from the current course of conflict and confrontation... The hope of millions of South Africans is fixed on us. The future of southern Africa depends on us. We dare not waver or fail.
  • There are a number of imperfections in the new South Africa where I would have hoped that things would be better, but on balance I think we have basically achieved what we set out to achieve. And if I were to draw balance sheets on where South Africa stands now, I would say that the positive outweighs the negative by far. There is a tendency by commentators across the world to focus on the few negatives which are quite negative, like how are we handling AIDS, like our role vis-à-vis Zimbabwe. But the positives – the stability in South Africa, the adherence to well-balanced economic policies, fighting inflation, doing all the right things in order to lay the basis and the foundation for sustained economic growth – are in place.
  • I have great sympathy with America. It's very, it's very tough to be the only remaining superpower in the world.
  • As we did before in 1994, I feel we have a capacity to do so again. We succeeded in resolving our problems by peaceful means when everybody expected war and violence... We have one of the best constitutions in the world. We should be proud of this constitution, which provides the framework for a functioning multiparty democracy, independent courts and other institutions that stand for [the] advancement of human rights... He said the country had already held three elections and that two presidents had relinquished their power through constitutional means. Although former president Thabo Mbeki had left under difficult conditions, even that had been done constitutionally... These are all signs of growing constitutional maturity. Our democracy is growing up and there are open debates which will take us to robust contestations.
  • You have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights. You don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it's unfair to call Israel an apartheid state. If Kerry did so, I think he made a mistake.

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