FW de Klerk, the last white man to lead South Africa, has apologised for “quibbling” over whether or not apartheid was a “crime against humanity”, but the row has revealed old wounds, writes the BBC’s Africa correspondent Andrew Harding.
The past is still raw in South Africa.
Mr De Klerk’s apology was an attempt to calm a fortnight of increasingly furious debate after he made comments that many interpreted as an attempt to rewrite history and play down the seriousness of apartheid.
In a statement issued through the De Klerk Foundation, the 83-year-old expressed regret for “the confusion, anger, and hurt” his remarks might have caused.
Two weeks ago, in an interview with the national broadcaster, SABC, the former president said he was “not fully agreeing” with the presenter who asked him to confirm that apartheid, the legalised discrimination against non-white people, was a crime against humanity.