The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday dismissed claims by former president FW De Klerk that the party was responsible for the widening inequality gap in the country.
"The ANC ... views De Klerk's comments as nothing more than a red herring to deflect attention from the shocking figures which were released by Stats SA as part of Census 2011 and which showed that white South Africans are still way better off economically than their fellow black compatriots," said provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.
The party viewed the De Klerk foundation as proof that the discourse of apartheid denialism in South Africa was "in the ascendancy".
Apartheid did not end in 1994 when the democratic government took over, said Zikalala.
In his speech to business leaders on Wednesday, De Klerk lambasted the wealth-redistribution policies of the ANC.
He said they would cause "social engineering in which people's prospects would once again be determined by race, rather than by individual merit and circumstances."
De Klerk hit out at what he called the Marxism-Leninism of some members of the ANC ruling alliance, which he blamed for widespread unemployment and the failure to attract investment.
The party dismissed his assertions.
Zikalala said it was regrettable that there were some pockets of South Africans who try to peddle the "disturbing myth" that because the racial discrimination ended in 1994 South Africa was now a country where everyone was equal.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said.
"It is disturbing that in the face of such irrefutable and incontrovertible evidence that South Africa still had a long way to go to address the imbalances of the past the likes of de Klerk had crawled out of the wood work to defend the status quo."
The party called on "progressive whites" and all South Africans to work with the ANC to reverse the imbalances of the past by implementing policies such as the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action.