De Klerk said apartheid was not a crime against humanity during a television interview two weeks ago.
This caused conflict at last week’s State of the Nation address, with EFF MPs demanding that he leave Parliament, where he was seated as a guest.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “The sincerity of Mr De Klerk’s apology will be tested by his posture to selflessly commit both in words and in deeds towards the advancement of the ongoing reconstruction and development project through nation- building in his local community.
“The ANC has consistently maintained, in line with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, that apartheid was and remains a crime against humanity.”
Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said it welcomed De Klerk’s retraction and apology.
Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, confirms: “We believe that this kind of statement does not take us anywhere in terms of the nation-building, reconciliation path that Nelson Mandela put us on, but also in tackling the difficult systemic issues the nation is dealing with.”
“In terms of engaging with the FW de Klerk Foundation, we believe that that is the only way forward.
“The rise of racism and the rise of the denial of crimes such as apartheid is something that we see progressing.
“If we are to do anything right, it is to continue to engage those kind of voices with a view to ensuring that we can then transform our nation into one that (sees clearly).”