From the office of the Presidency:
The Presidency has announced today, Wednesday, 1 November, that the flags will be flown at half mast from tomorrow until the day of the burial of the late former Prime Minister and State President PW Botha, who will receive a private funeral.
Although the family requested a private funeral, the Rev. Frank Chikane said, “The state still has a responsibility by way of a range of services to the family in keeping with requirements for the funerals of former presidents.”
Rev. Chikane further extended heartfelt condolences on behalf of the President, government and the nation. He was well received, and the family accepted the condolences and appreciated the noble gesture extended by the government.
I join my friend Vincent in expressing my anger and disgust at our government’s overly sugary reaction to the death of someone who should rightly rank with Milosevic and Pol Pot as one of history’s great thugs and political criminals. The state has a responsibility to stay silent. The state has a responsibility to not try and rewrite history by prettying up the meaning of this unapologetic murderer to the people of South Africa. To his dying day, he swore he’d never ask for forgiveness, nor admit any wrongdoing.
So I’d like to say what the government and media in this country don’t seem capable of saying: PW, may you at least have been right about your religious beliefs, and that there is a hell for you to burn in. We do not mourn you. Your failure to apologise is not only an indictment of your character, but an offense to every South African who suffered under your leadership. Please pass your old friend Ronald Reagan our regards when you see him in the fiery abyss.