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Celebrations, Words of Caution and a Call to Action from FW de Klerk

The words below from ex-president FW de Klerk are from the speech which he delivered to the Adele Searll Ladies 100 Club at the beginning of June. The speech includes a celebration of our achievements as a nation, a word of warning for the future and a call to action for each and every South African.

The country is balanced between success and failure and the fulcrum on which South Africa’s future will pivot is our Constitution. If the forces of history come down on the side of constitutional values we can all look forward to a positive future. However, if the balance tips in the other direction, the consequences for all South Africans could be very dire

South Africans have a great deal of which we can be justifiably proud. The resilience of our young democracy has once again been illustrated by last month’s successful municipal elections. The magnificent success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup showed the world what glories we South Africans can achieve when we all work together.

However, there are many things of which we are not so proud. We see them in the daily barrage of press reports about corruption, incompetence and the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric of political leaders. Developments that in other countries would lead to the fall of governments are routinely brushed aside. We must not allow ourselves to be pummelled into a situation where we no longer respond to developments that are constitutionally, morally and politically unacceptable.

For the full text of the speech, please click here.