Thursday, November 11, 2021

FW de klerk has passed at age 85 and leaves an apology as a last message

FW de Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa and a key factor in the country's transition to democracy, has died.

He was head of state between September 1989 and May 1994.  In 1990 he announced he was releasing anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, leading to multi-party polls in 1994.

The FW de Klerk Foundation's spokesperson Dave Steward confirmed his death saying the 85 year old man had been battling with cancer before his death this morning. The foundation shared a video of a frail De Klerk described as his "last message to the people of South Africa.

 “I, without qualification, apologise for the pain, hurt, indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to black, brown and Indians in South Africa”, he said

He shared that his views on apartheid had changed significantly since the 1980’s. He said he was apologising, not only in his capacity as former National Party leader, but also as an individual.

Mr de Klerk leaves a legacy that will continue to be debated, contested and defended. Last year, he became embroiled in a row in which he was accused of downplaying the seriousness of apartheid which he apologised for "quibbling the matter.

by Everngelista Muza

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