Journalists recall FW de Klerk’s 1990 announcement

SABC News FW de Klerk - Journalists recall FW de Klerk’s 1990 announcement

Veteran Journalist Max Du Preez still recalls where he was and how he reacted on February 2 1990 to the announcement made by former President FW De Klerk. This comes as South Africa marks the 30th anniversary of the unbanning of various political formations and the announcement of the imminent release of Nelson Mandela by De Klerk.

Du Preez was the Editor of the Vrye Weekblad at the time.

“I watched it in front of my television set and we were jumping  up and down in front of the television set when we heard that the Communist Party, the ANC, the PAC, Azapo have all been legalised that people were going to be released from jail. That Mr Nelson Mandela would be released from jail and that negotiation would start and we were jumping up and down and consumed quite a few glasses of beer that evening,” explains Du Preez.

Retired Veteran Journalist Jannie van Rensburg also has memories of the day. Van Rensburg was an SABC Parliamentary correspondent at the time.

“That just blew us out of the water. I never forget main opposition at the time was Andries Treurnicht. I happened to look at him when the announcement came. He was shocked. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The devil is going to be released according to them. So that was quite a big surprise to everybody,” says Van Rensburg.


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