Former South African President Frederick Willem de Klerk died of cancer at the age of 85 at his home in a suburb of Cape Town. This was announced on Thursday, November 11, by the FW de Klerk Foundation. As indicated in the message, his family will announce additionally the time and place of the ex-president’s funeral.
De Klerk ruled South Africa from 1989 to 1994, becoming the country’s last white president to date. He made an invaluable contribution to the elimination of the apartheid system. De Klerk’s decree in 1990 legalized the activities of the African National Congress (ANC) party, and then released from prison its leader, Nelson Mandela, who was sentenced in 1964 to life imprisonment. In 1994, after the victory of the ANC in the parliamentary elections, Mandela became president of South Africa, and de Klerk became the country’s first vice president and held this post until 1996. In 1997, he announced his retirement from politics.
In 1993, Frederic de Klerk, along with Nelson Mandela, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his work to peacefully end the apartheid regime and for laying the groundwork for a new democratic South African Republic.”