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De Klerk has 'blood on his hands'

Johannesburg - Former State President FW De Klerk "has blood on his hands" and that is why he has criticised a class action lawsuit against apartheid beneficiaries, says a father who believes his 12-year-old twins were murdered by an apartheid government hit squad in October 1993.

Sigqibo Mpendulo was responding to De Klerk's comments on the case that American lawyer Edward Fagan is making against Swiss and Americans banks for supporting apartheid.

De Klerk said in a newspaper article: "The case against the banks is in my opinion based on completely the wrong premise - that international involvement in the South African economy through foreign bank loans, trade and investment helped to prolong apartheid."

In a statement from Umtata issued by his lawyers, Mpendulo lashed out at the criticism, saying: "I am not surprised that he opposes these cases, because he has blood on his hands."

He said De Klerk in the article had recycled old apologia for apartheid, comparing the system with the unconstitutional and illegal regime of segregation in the southern states of the United States.

Mpendulo pointed out that the accusation that the former apartheid president had blood on his hands was first made publicly by his successor Nelson Mandela.

"On an Agenda television programme on October 22, 1993, just 14 days after the Mpendulo brothers and three friends were massacred, Mandela stated: "For a president to authorise the killing of children is a blatant act of terrorism."

The father said: "This was one of the terrible realities of apartheid and was one of the reasons it was correctly regarded around the world as a crime against humanity.

"It is on this basis that the class action lawsuits are being pursued."

Mpendulo said De Klerk was both a member and the last head of the State Security Council which was the ultimate source of apartheid's brutality and bloodshed in its last decade.

"The SSC sat at the centre of a web of spies, informers, assassins, torturers, blackmailers and jailers."

Mpendulo said: "I am little surprised that De Klerk should attempt to confuse, criticise and downplay the class action lawsuits."

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