Former South African President FW de Klerk dies at 85

By Editorial Team

South Africa’s last President of the apartheid era, FW De Klerk has died at the age of 85.

Mr de Klerk was instrumental in South Africa’s transition from apartheid and the ‘strict white rule’ to a democratic system and was head of state between September 1989 and May 1994.

In 1990 Mr. de Klerk announced that he was releasing Nelson Mandela, sending waves of applause around the world.

The release of Mandela automatically led to multi-party elections in 1994.

A statement from the FW de Klerk Foundation on Thursday morning read: “Former President FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye (Cape Town) earlier this morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.”

Mr de Klerk become head of South Africa’s National Party in February 1989 and the following year announced he was removing the ban on parties that included the African National Congress (ANC).

He is credited with bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa.

He also was one of the two deputy presidents after the multi-party elections in 1994 that saw Mr Mandela become president.

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