For years, South Africa's last white president opined on post-apartheid rule without getting much attention in a country anxious to shed its racist past. Now F.W. de Klerk is being vilified for remarks about the legacy of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes.

The furor follows criticism by de Klerk of a campaign to take down a statue of Rhodes at Britain's Oxford University, echoing protests that led to the removal of a Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

In a Facebook posting Monday, Oxford activists said de Klerk exhibited "white arrogance."

A South African opposition party says de Klerk is unworthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded jointly with Nelson Mandela in 1993 for their work to dismantle apartheid.