FW de Klerk's passing a time for reflection: Nelson Mandela Foundation

FW de Klerk's passing a time for reflection: Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation says it hopes the passing of FW de Klerk will be an opportunity for the country to reflect on the legacy it wants to build.


De Klerk died at his home in Cape Town on Thursday morning at the age of 85.

He'd been battling cancer.

He was South Africa's last apartheid-era president.

He jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize with former President Nelson Mandela in December, 1993 just a few months before the country held its first democratic elections.

"On behalf of the board of trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation we pass our deepest condolences to the family and friends of FW de Klerk,” said CEO Sello Hatang.

"His passing marks a loss for South Africa in terms of the history that it’s had. It also marks a moment in our history when we should then be asking ourselves what kind of nation do we want to build. And I am hoping that with this moment we'll reflect more on the legacy and try build South Africa that we dream of." 

UDM Leader General Bantu Holomisa has been among the first politicians to express his sympathies. 

"On behalf of the United Democratic Movement, we pass our condolences to the family of FW de Klerk for we have just heard that he has passed on. 

"He will go down in the history of this country as someone who moved from the conservative side of things and moved towards the centre in order to accommodate other nationalities of this country.   

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said: "He played a major role although that political role was controversial. Not everyone agreed with him. 

"At least in his lifetime quite a lot of changes happened in South Africa and I did not always agree with those changes but we wish the family will receive the grace of our heavenly Lord to deal with this situation." 

New Newswatch podcast banner yellow

Show's Stories