SA apology for apartheid

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(First Edition)

President F W de Klerk apologised for apartheid for the first time, saying yesterday he deeply regretted the loss of freedom and dignity inflicted on blacks, Reuter reports from Cape Town.

'It was not our intention to deprive people of their rights and to cause misery, but eventually separate development and apartheid led to just that. In so far as that occurred, we deeply regret it,' Mr de Klerk told a news conference.

Asked whether his use of the term 'deep regret' amounted to an apology, Mr de Klerk said: 'Deep regret goes much further that just saying you are sorry. Deep regret says that if I could turn the clock back and if I could do anything about it, I would have liked to have avoided it.'