FW de Klerk Foundation Annual Conference Update

25 March 2023

Earlier this term on the 2nd of February, the History Society was invited to attend the FW de Klerk Foundation Annual Conference, hosted together with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Four members of the History Society Exco were in attendance together with their member of staff.
The theme of the conference was entitled, “Defending the Constitution”. In lieu of this, various speakers of various expertise were invited to present, amongst them the likes of Adriaan Basso, Advocate Paul Hoffman, Lawson Naidoo, and Professor Hugh Corder. The Conference purported to provide an academic challenge on the 1996 Constitution by looking at it through the various lenses provided by these distinguished panelists. The boys were left better for it as the various insights provided by the panelists, and indeed the additional questions provoked in the minds of the boys, resulted in other robust conversations for the post-conference function and more beside back at school. In all, the threats to the constitution were discussed, the role of Chapter Nine institutions were addressed, the role of NGOs was presented, and the role of the Courts was delved into.
The afternoon culminated in a panel discussion, chaired by Tyla Dallas, who artfully and academically provoked robust discussion on the defensibility of the post-1994 Constitution. Proceedings were topped off with an overview and summation of the afternoon by Moeletsi Mbeki, for whose insights the boys and staff were left the better. This he did rather wittingly and yet in an educational manner, commenting on how, despite Italy’s chequered history dating back to Romans times, they are able to produce quality luxury vehicles. Similarly, despite our chequered history and the confusion which characterises our contemporary dispensation, we too can hope to be better and produce quality for our country.
Overall, this was a largely informative and beneficial conference for both the boys, Mr Nzuza and the congregants, with the chief take-away being, in the words of Elita de Klerk, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” And so, in the quest for a better society, we are reminded that freedom truly never rests.