Dear FW De Klerk:
Besides the atrocities of the Cradock 4, upholding and maintaining racist systems like the brutal Apartheid, your inability to tell the truth about what you did, and lastly your denial that Apartheid was a crime against humanity, tell me what you know about the lives we have lived under your regime?
Maybe every single black and brown person should write letters about their painful personal experiences that they endured when you were President? You could calmly sip your tea in the comfort of your lounge or your study and read every one. I say this in the hope that old age would have by now brought along wisdom and some clarity.
When you do speak about racism at the American Bar Association can you include photos of people like Nokuthula Simelane and hopefully her family will have peace and maybe be able to give her body (if found) the proper burial she deserves. Include ALL apartheid atrocities among them.
Tell them too how as a 15-year-old, I was chased off a beach and threatened because I was not white.
Tell them as a person of colour how we lived on the Cape Flats during your reign.
Don’t forget to tell them how as a 14-year old I was beaten for being in the City Centre by your police.
Please don’t forget to include how I had to enter back doors to sing in whites-only establishments.
Remember the time, near the end of your reign that I lived in Ga Rankuwa because I was not allowed to live in the whites-only staff quarters at Morula Sun when I was singing.
Do not forget to tell them how I desired to be an air hostess and was told I fit the criteria until I mentioned where I lived.
Do tell them that under your reign my dad was threatened with arrest in Ladysmith while delivering furniture because the white shop keeper wanted me. And my dad said no and told me to get back in the truck. I was 17 at the time.
Tell them how many times I missed my train for school because I was tired of running to the end of the platform to the carriages that said non-white only. Please include the time I fell under the train at 14 because the train carriage was full.
Tell them about my horrific, brutal experiences at Red Cross Hospital when I was treated there for mere eczema.
Lastly and only because I don’t have pages and pages to continue, please tell them about the time I had to get a white woman to sign for a place in Hillbrow and “vouch” for me that I am a “decent” human being.
I could go on but, hopefully, you get the picture. There’s so much more if you want and my tale is very mild as opposed to other black and brown people.
So when you go and you talk about racism, please tell them what happened under your watch and include the millions of black and brown people’s experiences.
After all our truths, you can then sit and sip your rooibos tea and think about whether you have any authority to speak about our experiences. That includes the economy at the time.