The visit of President de Klerk marks an historic moment in relations between Ireland and South Africa but was met with some opposition. Ireland was one of Europe's strongest opponents to the apartheid regime.

This opposition came to the fore in Ireland with the two-and-a-half year strike by Dunnes Stores workers, who refused to handle South African imports. The plight of the Dunnes Stores workers became international news.

This country and South Africa have not been on speaking terms for a generation because of Irish objections to the apartheid system.

As President de Klerk begins to dismantle apartheid he is appealing to the international community for support for his reforms. 

Spokesman for President de Klerk's National Party Piet Kutzer told 'Morning Ireland' about the objectives of the visit. 

It's important for us to normalise our international relations...

Piet Kutzer feels that building relationships with Ireland would be a politically symbolic move for South Africa. He emphasises the need for South Africa to normalise international economic relationships as quickly as possible. He also comments on domestic affairs in South Africa and specifically the release of political prisoners.

A 'Morning Ireland' report broadcast on 25 April 1991.