For King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, the protests this morning during their visit to the Slavery Museum in Cape Town were not unexpected. The King said in the press interview at the conclusion of his official visit to South Africa: “It is good that this happened.” “We expected that. Those feelings are very understandable.”
The demonstration, in which about a hundred people participated, caused some commotion this morning when the royal couple tried to walk to their car after the visit. The demonstrators, who are indigenous Khoisan people, drew attention to South Africa’s slavery past with slogans such as “Respect us” and “We want compensation.”
The king showed understanding in this matter. He pointed out that the Khoisan were expelled by the Dutch centuries ago and are still without a homeland. “It’s good to have that emotion come out. It’s good to have that fierceness out there.” According to him, this will allow for further work on “healing and reconciliation.”
Queen Máxima agreed. She had no idea that the protesters were specifically targeting the royal couple. “They wanted to show their feelings,” she said. “Not only for us, but for the whole world.”
King on protest: ‘It’s good to get those feelings out’
In addition to the Slavery Museum in Cape Town, Willem-Alexander and Maxima visited Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and Botanical Garden over the past three days. The king’s statements came at the end of a “beautiful, objective and relevant” state visit.
“Especially since we were able to properly discuss topics such as Ukraine, the Middle East and the Sahel against the backdrop of the turbulent geopolitical situation,” the king said. “But there are also other things that play a dual role. It was a nice visit.”
Acknowledging the excuses for slavery
Willem-Alexander expressed special appreciation for the fact that South African President Ramaphosa acknowledged the Netherlands’ apology for slavery earlier this year. The king said it made him emotional and he was “extremely grateful” for it.
Ramaphosa also expressed this acknowledgment with an apology press release Which was distributed on Wednesday, at the beginning of the official visit to Pretoria. When reading it, skip the passage in question.
King grateful for acknowledgment of apology: ‘Time to heal’
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