Khanet Haengphit/EyeEm/Getty Images


apartheid government sold arms to genodical rwandan regime

May 7, 2019
157 Picks

F.W. de Klerk was the last sitting president of the apartheid regime in South Africa before the African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994. As the leader of the National Party (NP) during a period defined by unrest, he had been forced by the unrelenting force of the anti-apartheid movement to sit down and negotiate or strap up and face a civil war. The negotiations that ended apartheid took place between the ANC, the ruling NP and various other political negotiations and because de Klerk happened to be the white nationalist in office to cave to the growing anti-apartheid movement, he got to share a Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela.

Turns out that De Klerk — the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former head of an apartheid state — was in charge when South Africa sold arms to the genocidal regime in Rwanda, according to All Africa. In an eNCA interview with Thabo Mbeki (South Africa’s second democratically elected president), the former head of state recalled receiving a delegation from the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) — Inkotanyi who provided evidence that the South African government was selling arms to the then-Rwandan leaders and that those weapons were intended for carrying out genocide. Despite the efforts of the RPF to stop the sale, the apartheid government went ahead anyway.

“The response was very unfortunate because the government then said that the issue of sale of weapons is business… ‘we sell to whoever is ready to buy and pay us,'” said Mbeki, who quoted the apartheid government officials in charge. This callous opportunism exercised by the apartheid government aided the highly organized massacre over 800,000 Rwandans. It’s no surprise that the same government that showed active and violent disdain against Black South Africans wouldn’t flinch selling weapons intended to kill other Black people on the continent.

Mandela had to share a Nobel Peace Prize with the man whose government aided a genocide. A man, who, despite everything that has transpired, still believes in the “separate but equal” fallacy that formed the foundation of apartheid policy. He sees himself as a “convert” to the cause of Black and Brown human rights and it may be cute to frame that narrative as solely being his decision but I think the conversion largely has to do with the war anti-apartheid forces were bringing to the National Party’s doorstep.

De Klerk often comments on the state of the country because he hasn’t done South Africa the favor of abandoning his mortal coil and leaving us in peace. No, we have to hear the man who used to oversee the violent subjugation of Black and Brown people talk about how the government has abandoned its aims to make South Africa a post-racial society. That’s what happens when you give Nobel Peace Prizes to fascists.