We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
It is fitting that former South African President F.W. de Klerk, born into an Afrikaner family of pro-National Party politicians who helped construct apartheid in the ’50s, has become a dismantler of the system. Many watched in surprise the actions of a man once labeled conservative, as de Klerk reversed the 30-year ban on the African National Congress in 1990 and released current President Nelson Mandela from 27 years in prison. But de Klerk isn’t a dove. During much of the transition period, he clung to the idea of power-sharing rather than morally renouncing apartheid or calling for majority rule. South Africa has been in the press again as former security agents of the old regime are alleging that, in some cases, government officials condoned the hit-squad assassinations of anti-apartheid activists. De Klerk’s lecture tonight, “Politics for Peace: The Transformation of South Africa,” will be interesting if he addresses such thorny issues, though the exorbitant ticket price, a little political paradox in itself, doesn’t hold much promise of candor. At 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $60. For reservations call (202) 828-5424. (Ruth Levine)