Several leaders reacted to former president FW de Klerk's advice to Swiss banks to fight reparation lawsuits against them.
Abstracts from article:
Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party and Minister of Home Affairs Mangosuthu Buthelezi has come out in support of former president FW de Klerk, who has been slammed by other political leaders and activists for advising the Swiss banks to fight the apartheid class action lawsuits that have been filed against them.
Buthelezi said: "During the days of apartheid my stance was well known against the use of sanctions. I personally went to talk to the banks about investing in South Africa to create jobs. Now I cannot turn around and tell the same people I asked to invest in South Africa, not to fight the court action."
Other political leaders and activists working for compensation from foreign companies that propped up apartheid, however, have criticised De Klerk. KwaZulu-Natal Minister of Housing Dumisani Makhaye, said De Klerk was misreading the history of the struggle in South Africa. "The sanctions imposed on South Africa played an important role in the overview of the apartheid regime."
Chairperson of the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal and Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele, said De Klerk's stance was unfortunate and that "it would have been useful if he hadn't said anything at all," said Ndebele. Ndebele said: "The banks did a lot in support of apartheid, they went beyond formal business . . . and it's about time victims of apartheid are heard."
De Klerk this week advised Swiss banks to fight the legal action. His comments were made days after South Africa's two Anglican archbishops had urged these foreign companies to set up a voluntary Marshal-aid-style plan for the reconstruction of the country. Archbishops Desmond Tutu and Njongonkulu Ndungane were reacting to previous statements by De Klerk that these lawsuits would harm foreign investment.
Source: Full article "Buthelezi sides with FW in Swiss Banks' case" appeared on the Independant Online iol.co.za website