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De Klerk taken to task for ‘Rhodes must stand’ comment

The former SA president said it was “regrettable” that Rhodes Must Fall campaign spread to other countries.

FILE: Former South African president FW de Klerk. Picture: FW de Klerk Foundation Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African president FW de Klerk has come under fire on Twitter after he spoke out against the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue at the Oriel College in England.

In a short statement making rounds on the social media platform, the former president says he could not understand why an organisation as honourable as Oriel would be so ungrateful and ungracious in the treatment of its benefactor.

In case you missed it, here is De Klerk's letter on #RhodesMustFall in Oxford pic.twitter.com/YmysVpHnK2

More than 2,300 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of Rhodes' statue from the institution.

The campaigners say the 19 century colonialist views are against the "inclusive culture" of the university.

Rhodes gave a donation of 100,000 pounds to Oriel College.

Statue of Cecil Rhodes on the front of Oriel College's Rhodes Building, facing Oxford's High Street. Picture: oxfordhistory.org.uk.

De Klerk added that it was "regrettable" that the Rhodes Must Fall campaign spread to other countries.

This was in reference to the fall of the Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town in April this year.

WATCH: Students celebrate as Rhodes statue falls

The Economic Freedom Fighters has joined those calling de Klerk a 'former apartheid president', a 'traitor' and a 'racist'.

FW de Klerk is not allowed to express his opinion in a country he helped free because he is afrikaaner and he is a former aprtheid leader?

A traitor like Judas, who sold out his nation...De Klerk Attacks Plan To Remove Rhodes Statue From Oxford College... https://t.co/EO23WbygWg

I respect what President de Klerk did during his Presidency, but his comments about circumstances of today are totally out of touch.

FW de Klerk

Once a racist always a racist.

This De Klerk fellow will not receive a peaceful state funeral.

De klerk says Afrikaners had more of a reason to hate Rhodes but never thought of removing his statue. IDIOT

And for whatever reason De Klerk feels compelled to speak on behalf of white people, particularly Afrikaans people. Who never asked him to.

Maybe De Klerk should just say nothing. Enjoy the guilt free retirement we gave him.

Every now and then De Klerk wakes up from hibernation and thinks 'How do I piss off black people today?'

Oxford University must not listen to De Klerk whose recent views represent his private ambitions to become a statue himself.

We call on Nobel Peace Prize committee to recall De Klerk's award & reissue it to Mandela; its clear he should have never shared it with him

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