De Klerk and Ramaphosa: so different and yet so similar

CHALLENGING SECUROCRATS

De Klerk and Ramaphosa: so different and yet so similar

It might sound far-fetched to compare the circumstances during FW de Klerk's presidency with Cyril Ramaphosa's term – unless you delve into their security and political dilemmas, argues ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.

IN some ways Cyril Ramaphosa currently faces almost the same security and intelligence set of challenges as did FW de Klerk when he became president in 1989. I should hastily add that I am not drawing any moral equivalence, and I fully appreciate the vastly different social and historical conditions. 

Both Ramaphosa and De Klerk, within specific historical contexts seem to be encumbered with securocrats put in place by their predecessors. As was the case with De Klerk, not all of them can be trusted or relied upon to help move the country forward as they are aligned with political opponents who consider the head of state to be a verraaier. Ramaphosa has to deal with securocrats essentially loyal to former president Jacob Zuma, and everything that comes with Zuma, most notably that he (Ramaphosa) is a traitor who has “sold out” the African people. De Klerk, on his part, had to deal with the securocrats he inherited from PW Botha, and a Conservative Party that saw him as a verraaier of the Afrikaner volk.

De Klerk’s securocrat dilemma..

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